Streetwear Influencers

The streetwear trend continues to have a grasp on Generation Z’s wallets — but not as much as Starbucks. According to the latest Piper Jaffray report, “Taking Stock With Teens: A Collaborative GenZ Insights Project, Spring 2018,” teen spending is up 6 percent from the fall season — and increased 2 percent annually. And they’re purchasing plenty of Nineties-inspired garb — and caffeine.

To collate the new sentiments, Piper Jaffray — in partnership with DECA — polled 6,000 teens with average age around 16 years old. Forty percent of participants hold a part-time job. The bulk of respondents — 4,600 participants — fell into the “average income group,” with a median household income at $56,000. The remaining 1,400 teens met the requirements of “upper income” categorizations — with their average household income landing around $100,000.

The research found that teens estimate they spend approximately $2,600 annually. This is a chunk, citing Fung Global Retail and Technology, the report said, “Generation Z contributes $830 billion — around 7 percent of U.S. retail sales.”

Generally, food purchases returned as the top priority of purchases among teens — it hit a 24 percent peak, according to the report. “Starbucks notably maintained its position as the most preferred public brand in our survey overall — 12 percent preference for upper and 9 percent preference for average income teens versus eleven percent and 12 percent, respectively, during fall 2017 — and within the coffee category where it remains the overwhelmingly favorite brand,” the report said. The survey results revealed that female wallets are increasingly shifting toward beauty with a skin-care focus — expenditures in the category increased 18 percent year-on-year.

For teen boys, video game purchases have risen and are quickly closing in on the fashion vertical as a top purchase segment. But food still reigns as the top vertical for teen males — 24 percent of their wallet goes toward grabbing a bite. Conversely, teen girl wallets are mainly spent on clothing, which secured 25 percent share of their wallets.

For all teens, Nineties-inspired clothing and streetwear is bolstering the success of brands like Nike and Adidas. “Adidas doubled its mindshare from 3 percent to 6 percent as it moves from number five to number three. Nike, while still number one, moved from 31 percent share as preferred apparel brand to 23 percent, the report said. “Urban Outfitters returns to the top five [favorite apparel brands] as this is reflection of current fashion cycle. Supreme moved higher within top [landing at top seven] and Gucci makes its debut in [the listing as the top 10 brand].”

What’s more, the report said Adidas was the largest gainer within branded soft lines. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren and Nike were posted the biggest declines in wallet share — though Nike remained as the most favored apparel brand. Tommy Hilfiger and Champion both received a boost due to the nineties revival, the report said.

Now is the time for brands to capture Generation Z loyalty. As the consumer set matures and gains more spending power, brands that have not collected pertinent data on spending preferences and behavior will have an uphill battle to regain traction.

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