Vans and Lululemon are crushing it with teens. Nike and Adidas are plateauing while Under Armour and Supreme appear to be losing ground. But athletic apparel and footwear categories overall continue to grow in appeal with teens, according to Piper Jaffray’s 37th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey.
Here, 10 key trends in the active-lifestyle space from the survey:
- Casualization Of Fashion Continues: Athletic brands dominate teen preferences with Nike and Vans as the top two footwear brands. Lululemon hit an all-time survey high. Seventy-two percent of female teens named an athletic brand as their preferred footwear brand compared to the 84-percent level among male teens.
- Athletic Apparel Trending Upward: Thirty-six percent of preferred apparel brands are “athletic,” up from 35 percent last spring but still off the 41 percent spring 2017 peak. Mixed reads were seen for legacy teen retail brands (i.e., American Eagle, Abercombie & Fitch) with Urban Outfitters, Hollister, and Brandy Melville up year over year.
- Athletic Footwear Still Gaining Share Among Females: Seventy-two percent of female teens prefer an athletic brand of footwear, up 600 basis points year over year and reaching a new survey high. Eighty-four percent of males prefer an athletic brand of footwear, similar to 84 percent last year and 85 percent last fall.
- Vans Hits New High: Vans remained the number two preferred footwear brand with share up 600 basis points year over year to 20 percent. Vans is now the number two fashion trend among female teens (versus number five spring 2018) and the number three trend among male teens (number eight last spring). Vans remained the number one footwear brand among upper-income females, marking the second time it surpassed Nike.
- Lululemon Breaks Into Top-10 Apparel Brands: Lululemon broke into the top-10 apparel brands for the first time at number eight (up from 11 in fall 2018) and moved up to number two athletic apparel brand for upper-income teens with mindshare (15 percent) doubling over the past 1.5 years. “Leggings/Lululemon” remained the number one fashion trend for females for the third consecutive survey. For males, Lululemon is the number seven up-trending brand (versus eight last year).
- Adidas Mindshare Slips Sequentially: For the first time in a few years, Adidas lost share sequentially in most key categories. Adidas remained the number three brand in both apparel and footwear overall but is now number three within preferred athletic apparel brand for upper-income teens, replaced at number two by Lululemon. Adidas fell to the sixth fashion trend for males, down from three last year.
- Nike’s Share Rebalanced, Still Dominates: In footwear, Nike controlled a commanding 41 percent mindshare, albeit down from 46 percent in the same period a year ago. Nike’s loss came at the expense of gains from Vans. In apparel, Nike held the leading mindshare at 22 percent, down from 25 percent a year ago. Piper Jaffrey noted that Nike has led teen brand preferences for the last 8.5 years. Prior to that, action sports brands topped brand preferences for 2.5 years, Hollister for 3.5 years and Abercrombie & Fitch for 3.5 percent years. The Gap was the preferred teen brand in the first Piper Jaffray teen survey in spring 2001.
- Under Armour Trending Down: Under Armour again topped the list of brands no longer worn among upper-income males, at 15 percent versus 12 percent last spring and 13 percent last fall. Under Armour also fell out of the list of top-ten favorite clothing brands among all teens after landing at seventh last fall and eighth last spring. In footwear, Under Armour picked up one spot, to seventh among all teens year over year. Asked about favorite athletic brands, Under Armour saw its mindshare expand to 9 percent from 7 percent among upper-income males while eroding to 2 percent from 3 percent among upper-income female teens.
- Supreme And ”Preppy” Looks Lose Share: Supreme faded slightly in popularity in the survey as off-white and European luxury brands gained momentum. Supreme ranked tenth among favorite apparel brands across teens, down from fifth in spring 2018. Gucci moved up to seventh from tenth in spring 2018. “Preppy” brands (Polo, Sperry, Vineyard Vines) are also losing share.
- Sneakerheads A Growing Theme Within Athletic: About 31 percent of male teens and 22 percent of female teens identify as “sneakerheads,” or sneaker collectors, with similar penetration across income sets. On average, teens buy eight new pairs of sneakers per year across both genders. The average male shops Nike’s SNKRS app 39 times per year versus 19 times for the average female. The top secondary purchasing website by far was StockX, at 67 percent across both genders, followed by Flight Club/Goat, 27 percent.
Overall, the survey highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences amongst 8,000 teens across 47 U.S. states with an average age of 16. Generation Z, which contributes approximately $830 billion to U.S. retail sales annually, represents an influential consumer group where wallet size and allocation provide a proxy for category interest, noted Piper Jaffray.
Other findings from the survey:
- Top-Ten Fashion Trends Right Now (Upper-Income Male Teens): Nike/Jordans, 14 percent; Athletic Wear, 11 percent; Vans, 6 percent; Jogger Pants, 5 percent; Supreme, 5 percent; Adidas, 5 percent; Hoodies, 4 percent; Khakis/Chinos, 3 percent; Leggings/Lululemon, 3 percent; Flannels, 3 percent.
- Top-Ten Fashion Trends Right Now (Upper-Income Female Teens): Leggins/Lululemon, 28 percent; Vans, 8 percent; Crop Tops, 9 percent; Jeans, 5 percent; Nike/Jordans, 4 percent; Ripped Jeans, 3 percent; Hair, 2 percent; Scrunchies, 2 percent; Victoria’s Secret, 2 percent, Athletic Wear, 2 percent.
- Top-Ten Brands Starting To Be Worn (Upper-Income Male Teens): Adidas, 15 percent; Champion, 9 percent; Nike, 9 percent; Under Armour, 5 percent; Vans, 5 percent; American Eagle, 4 percent; Lululemon, 4 percent; Ralph Lauren, 3 percent; Vineyard Vines, 3 percent; Gucci and Hollister, tied at ten at 2 percent.
- Top-Ten Brands Starting To Be Worn (Upper-Income Female Teens): American Eagle, 6 percent; Lululemon, 6 percent; Vans, 5 percent; PacSun, 5 percent; Adidas, 5 percent; Nike, 5 percent; Champion. 5 percent; Brandy Melville, 5 percent; Urban Outfitters, 4 percent; Forever 21, 4 percent.
- Top-Ten Top Brands No Longer Worn (Upper-Income Male Teens): Under Armour, 15 percent; Nike, 12 percent; Gap, 10 percent; Adidas, 8 percent; Reebok, 5 percent; Puma, 4 percent; Skechers, 4 percent; Old Navy, 3 percent; American Eagle, 2 percent; Hollister, 2 percent.
- Top-Ten Top Brands No Longer Worn (Upper-Income Female Teens): Justice, 30 percent; Aeropostale, 9 percent; Hollister, 8 percent; Abercrombie & Fitch, 7 percent; Gap, 6 percent; American Eagle, 5 percent; Forever 21, 3 percent; Nike, 2 percent; Old Navy, 2 percent; Victoria’s Secret, 2 percent.
- Top-Ten Favorite Clothing Brands (All Male Teens): Nike, 33 percent; Adidas, 9 percent; American Eagle, 5 percent; Hollister, 3 percent; Ralph Lauren, 3 percent; Vans, 3 percent; Gucci, 3 percent; H&M, 2 percent; PacSun, 2 percent; Supreme, 2 percent.
- Top-Ten Favorite Clothing Brands (All Female Teens): American Eagle, 13 percent; Nike, 10 percent; Forever 21, 9 percent; Urban Outfitters, 5 percent; Victoria’s Secret, 5 percent; PacSun, 4 percent; Lululemon, 4 percent; Hollister, 4 percent; H&M, 2 percent; Rue 21, 2 percent.
- Top-Ten Favorite Footwear Brands (All Male Teens): Nike, 51 percent; Adidas, 17 percent; Vans, 13 percent; Foot Locker, 3 percent; Converse, 2 percent; New Balance, 2 percent; Under Armour, 1 percent; Sperry Top-Sider, 1 percent; Finish Line, 1 percent; Champs Sports, 1 percent.
- Top-Ten Favorite Footwear Brands (All Female Teens): Nike, 30 percent; Vans, 28 percent; Adidas, 9 percent; Converse, 8 percent; Steve Madden, 2 percent; Foot Locker, 2 percent; Birkenstock, 2 percent; DSW, 2 percent; Journeys, 1 percent; Payless ShoeSource, 1 percent.
- Top-Five Favorite Athletic Clothing Brands (All Male Teens): Nike, 64 percent; Adidas, 15 percent; Under Armour, 9 percent; Lululemon, 2 percent; The North Face, 1 percent.
- Top-Five Favorite Athletic Clothing Brands (All Female Teens): Nike, 62 percent; Adidas, 12 percent; Lululemon, 10 percent; Under Armour, 5 percent; Fabletics, 1 percent.
- Top-Five Favorite Athletic Footwear Brands (All Male Teens): Nike, 69 percent; Adidas. 18 percent; Under Armour, 3 percent; New Balance, 2 percent; Puma, 1 percent.
- Top-Five Favorite Athletic Footwear Brands (All Female Teens): Nike, 74 percent; Adidas 15 percent; New Balance, 1 percent; Under Armour, 1 percent; Brooks, 1 percent
- Top-Ten Favorite Websites For Shopping (All Teens): Amazon, 50 percent; Nike, 5 percent; Urban Outfitters, 4 percent; American Eagle, 3 percent; Fashion Nova, 2 percent; Lululemon, 2 percent; PacSun, 2 percent; ebay, 1 percent; Forever 21, 1 percent; Brandy Melville, 1 percent; Hollister, 1 percent.
Photo courtesy Vans