Teens Peg Nike as Favorite Apparel Brand, Under Armour Loses Relevance

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When teens do decide to use their money for clothing, there are only a few brands they’re really keen to spend with.

Teens are already spending less money in general, and their parents are giving them less to spend too, according to Piper Jaffray’s 33rd semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey. When they do dish out some of those dollars, 24 percent goes to food, compared to 19 percent for clothing.

“While the overall spending environment has been challenging, we are seeing teen spending continue to shift more toward experiences—eating out, video games and leisure,” Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Erinn Murphy said. “Share of fashion spending has moderated but we continue to see undisputed strength in athletic—Nike remains the No. 1 preferred brand and Adidas was the fast-growing brand in our survey.”

Nike accounts for 31 percent of teens’ spending on footwear and apparel, up from 21 percent last year as the athletic trend shows no signs of slowing down—41 percent of teens picked an athletic brand as their preferred apparel brand, up from a much lower 26 percent last year.

Teens’ top five favorite clothing brands are: Nike, American Eagle, Forever 21, Lululemon, and Adidas and H&M tied for fifth. Nike also topped the list of favored footwear brands, followed not at all closely by Vans, Adidas, Converse and Steve Madden. For top shopping websites, Amazon, Nike, American Eagle, Forever 21 and eBay ranked the highest. Amazon is by far teens’ favorite website, taking up 43 percent of their share of spend.

Other brands, however, like Under Armour, Michael Kors, The North Face, Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines, are losing relevance with the youth.

Teen spending is down 2.4 percent year over year, and the parent contribution to that is down from an average 68 percent to 63 percent, according to the survey, which looked at 5,500 teens in 43 U.S. states with an average age of 16.

When it comes to social media, which increasingly influences spending decisions, 39 percent of teens prefer Snapchat, followed by Instagram with 23 percent and Twitter and Facebook both with 11 percent. Pinterest is almost entirely irrelevant among teens, with just 1 percent noting it as their preferred platform.


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