Piper Sandler’s 42nd Semi-Annual Gen-Z Fall Survey found that athletic apparel and footwear retain strong appeal among teens. Within apparel, Nike and Lululemon reached new highs in preference. Within footwear, while Nike reigned supreme, Converse and Crocs gained share, whereas Vans declined.
The survey found that teen spending continues to recover after recent surveys found spending weighed down by the pandemic.
In its Fall 2021 survey, teens “self-reported” spending reached $2,274, up 5 percent sequentially and 6 percent year-over-year. Teens’ “self-reported” spending was down 5 percent in its Spring 2021 survey and down by 9 percent in its Fall 2020 survey.
One standout category was apparel, which ranked as the No. 1 priority for teens for the first time since Fall 2014 with a 22 percent wallet share. Apparel unseated Food at No. 2 with a 21 percent share. Among upper-income females, the wallet share for clothing reached its highest level since 2013 at 29 percent – up 270 basis points year-over-year and a 500 basis point gain after stagnating at 24 percent in Fall 2017.
Erinn Murphy, Piper Sandler, senior research analyst, said in a statement, “We believe apparel replenishment will continue into 2022 as the consumer continues to replenish.”
Overall, apparel and footwear spending saw mid-single-digit growth, led by females. Among upper-income female respondents, spending across apparel, footwear and accessories was up 14 percent year-over-year. The 14 percent gain was led by a 25 percent growth in accessories, which approached pre-pandemic levels; 14 percent growth in apparel; and 10 percent growth in footwear. Piper said in its survey, “The growth across all three categories supports the fashion cycle that we have been tracking over the last 12-to-18 months.”
Athletic Apparel Mindshare Increases
Purchasing intent climbed in athletic apparel. Among upper-income teens across genders, 39 percent of respondents preferred apparel brands that are “athletic,” up from 38 percent in its Spring 2021 survey and up from 38 percent a year ago. The preference ranking was the highest since its peak of 41 percent in Spring 2017.
Overall apparel spending was $535 a year, up 5 percent both year-over-year and sequentially. Females were found to outspend males by $175 in the category, according to the survey. Female spending was ahead 7 percent year-over-year, and male spending in apparel was ahead 4 percent year-over-year.
Among brands in apparel mindshare, Nike was the leading brand in apparel among all teens, at 27 percent, flat sequentially and year-over-year. Nike has led the apparel category for more than ten years. American Eagle remained at the number two spot but ranked far behind with a 7 percent share and shed 100 basis points year-over-year. The remainder in the Top 10 in apparel mindshare were PacSun, 5 percent; Adidas, 5 percent; Lululemon, 5 percent; Shein, 4 percent; Hollister, 3 percent, H&M, 3 percent; Urban Outfitters, 2 percent, and Vans, 2 percent.
Adidas fell from No. 3 last year to No. 4 but maintained a mindshare of 5 percent. Lululemon moved from No. 6 to No. 5, gaining 200 basis points year-over-year of share. Hollister continued to slip while Urban Outfitters fell one spot. PacSun gained 100 basis points and moved from No. 4 to No. 3 year-over-year. After Shein’s debut in the Spring 2021 survey, mindshare increased sequentially from No. 8 to No. 6.
Athletic Footwear Purchase Intent Surges Among Female Teens
In footwear, 86 percent of upper-income females prefer an athletic brand of footwear, up 600 basis points year-over-year and besting the previous survey high at 82 percent in Spring 2021. Among males, 87 percent of upper-income males prefer an athletic footwear brand, down 100 basis points from Fall 2020.
Footwear spending was $290 a year, up 5 percent year-over-year. The gains were led by women’s, up 7 percent year-over-year, with men’s ahead 5 percent. Despite seeing a female-led spending recovery, males outspend females on footwear by $50 a year.
Nike, the dominant teen brand in footwear for decades, gained substantial share – up 500 basis points year-over-year to 57 percent, taking share from Vans and Adidas. The rest of the Top 10 in footwear mindshare were Vans, 11 percent; Adidas, 9 percent; Converse, 7 percent; Foot Locker, 2 percent; Crocs, 1 percent; New Balance, 1 percent; Hey Dude, 1 percent; Dr. Martens, 1 percent; and Birkenstock, 1 percent.
Vans held the No. 2 position, but shares slipped 500 basis points to 11 percent versus 16 percent last year. Adidas remained at No. 3 but lost 200 basis points of share year-over-year. Converse gained 300 basis points year-over-year, solidifying its No. 4 spot. Crocs moved up to the No. 6 brand versus the No. 9 spot last Fall to mark its highest ranking to date. Dr. Martens fell to No. 9 versus. No. 7 last year, while Birkenstock fell to No. 10 from No. 6. Hey Dude made its debut as a Top 10 footwear brand. Under Armour did not remain in the Top 10 after returning to the Top 10 in its Spring 2021 survey for the first time since Fall 2019.
- Nike retained its position as the leading apparel brand in Piper Sandler’s survey for 11 years with a 27 percent share, flat year-over-year. As a preferred footwear brand (ranked No. 1), it widened its margin versus the No. 2 player Vans, capturing 57 percent of the vote and gaining 500 basis points year-over-year.
- Adidas fell from No. 3 last year to No. 4 in apparel mindshare ranking but maintained its overall mindshare of 5 percent. Among males, Adidas ranked as the second most preferred apparel brand, at 8 percent. Adidas did not rank in the Top 10 in preference among girls. In footwear, Adidas remained at No. 3 overall in preference among teens but lost 200 basis points year-over-year for a 9 percent mindshare. Adidas ranked second in footwear preference among males, with a 15 percent mindshare, and fourth among female teens with a 4 percent mindshare.
- Vans maintained its No. 2 preferred footwear brand for teens but slipped in shares from 16 percent in Fall 2020 to 11 percent in Fall 2021, a 500 basis points deceleration. The more considerable slowdown for Vans was among females year-over-year with the brand moving from a 21 percent share to 13 percent share.
- Lululemon was the No. 5 preferred apparel brand for teens, ranking No. 5 among average-income teens and No. 3 for upper-income teens. It tied with PacSun as the No. 1 brand for upper-income females in 2021. It remains the “top trend” for females. Lululemon is the No. 2 athletic brand for upper-income teens (+100 basis points share year-over-year) and the No. 3 athletic brand for average-income teens (+100 basis points year-over-year).
- Converse, which Nike Inc. owns, ranked as the No. 4 footwear brand, up 300 basis points year-over-year. Converse made the Top 10 trends for females, ranking No. 9. in upper-income females and outranked Vans with upper-income females for the first time since Fall 2017.
- Crocs was the No. 6 preferred footwear brand this Fall, up from No. 9 last year. Crocs ranked No. 7 for upper-income teens and No. 6 for average-income teens, ranking No. 5 with average-income females.
Piper Sandler surveyed 10,000 consumers with an average age of 15.8 from 44 states with an average household income of $$67,755. The survey, released Tuesday, was conducted from August 17 to September 1.
The Top 10 Lists by category related to the Active Lifestyle Space, according to Piper’s Fall 2021 Report, include:
- Favorite Apparel Brands (all teens): Nike, 27 percent; American Eagle, 7 percent; PacSun, 5 percent; Adidas, 5 percent; Lululemon, 5 percent; Shein, 4 percent; Hollister, 3 percent; H&M, 3 percent; Urban Outfitters, 2 percent; Vans, 2 percent.
- Favorite Footwear Brands (all teens): Nike, 57 percent; Vans, 11 percent; Adidas, 9 percent; Converse, 7 percent; Foot Locker, 2 percent; Crocs, 1 percent; New Balance, 1 percent; Hey Dude, 1 percent; Dr. Martens, 1 percent; and Birkenstock, 1 percent.
- Top Fashion Trends (upper-income male teens): Nike/Jordan, 18 percent; Athletic Wear, 9 percent; 5″ Inseam Shorts, 6 percent; Short Shorts, 5 percent; Shorts 5 percent; Hoodies, 4 percent; Hair Trends, 3 percent; Hats, 3 percent; T-Shirts, 3 percent; Baggy/Saggy Pants, 3 percent.
- Top Fashion Trends (upper-income female teens): Leggings/Lululemon, 17 percent; Crop Tops, 11 percent; Jeans, 11 percent; Baggy/Saggy Pants, 10 percent; Nike/Jordan, 8 percent; Mom Jeans, 5 percent; Hair Trends, 3 percent; Athletic Wear, 2 percent; Converse, 2 percent; Ripped Jeans, 2 percent; Comfort, 2 percent.
- Top Brands Starting To Be Worn (upper-income male teens): Nike, 13 percent; Adidas, 11 percent; Champion, 8 percent; Hollister, 4 percent; Vans, 4 percent; Under Armour, 4 percent; American Eagle, 4 percent; Lululemon, 3 percent; H&M, 3 percent; New Balance, 2 percent.
- Top Brands Starting To Be Worn (upper-income female teens): PacSun, 8 percent; Zara, 7 percent; American Eagle, 6 percent; Lululemon, 6 percent; Shein, 6 percent; Nike, 5 percent; Urban Outfitters, 4 percent; Brandy Melville, 4 percent; Hollister, 3 percent; Garage, 3 percent.
- Top Brands No Longer Being Worn (upper-income male teens): Under Armour, 23 percent; Adidas, 11 percent; Nike, 9 percent; Gap, 7 percent; Skechers, 6 percent; Reebok, 5 percent; Champion, 4 percent; Puma, 4 percent; Hollister, 3 percent; Vineyard Vines, 3 percent.
- Top Brands No Longer Being Worn (upper-income female teens): Justice, 26 percent; Hollister, 9 percent; Gap, 6 percent; American Eagle, 5 percent; Adidas, 5 percent; Old Navy, 4 percent; Aeropostale, 4 percent; Forever 21, 4 percent; Under Armour, 3 percent; Nike, 3 percent.
- The Top Five Favorite Athletic Clothing Brands (upper-income teens): Nike, 57 percent; Lululemon, 17 percent; Adidas, 8 percent; Under Armour, 4 percent; Gymshark, 2 percent. Among males, the top-five were Nike, 69 percent; Adidas, 10 percent; Under Armour, 6 percent; Lululemon, 3 percent; Gymshark, 2 percent. Among females, the top five were Nike, 44 percent; Lululemon, 35 percent; Adidas, 5 percent; Athleta, 3 percent; Under Armour, 2 percent.
- The Top Five Favorite Athletic Footwear Brands (upper-income teens): Nike, 71 percent; Adidas 15 percent; 2 percent; New Balance, 2 percent; Brooks, 2 percent; Asics, 1 percent. Among males, the top-five were Nike, 67 percent; Adidas, 19 percent; New Balance, 3 percent; Under Armour, 2 percent; Brooks 1 percent. Among females, the top-five were Nike, 76 percent; Adidas, 10 percent; Asics, 2 percent; Brooks, 2 percent; New Balance, 1 percent.
Photo courtesy Lululemon