Teenagers are spending more money this spring than they did a year ago — and a good amount of that budget is being put toward clothing and shoes, particularly streetwear and ’90s fashion, according to a recent study by Piper Jaffray.
The firm published its twice-annual Taking Stock with Teens Report, analyzing 6,000 responses from Gen Z participants whose average age was 16 years, and found that spending was up 6 percent from the past fall and up 2 percent from a year ago. It added that teens, on average, spent about $2,600 this year, with Gen Z contributing a total of $830 billion, or 7 percent, to the U.S. retail market.
While food was their priority, young male and female consumers are still dropping their hard-earned cash on clothing (16 percent for men and 25 percent for women), favoring athleisure brands such as Nike and Adidas.
“Our spring survey has shown an uptick in teen spending, which we believe mirrors the economic expansion we are experiencing broadly,” said Erinn Murphy, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. “We are seeing strong signs of a brand cycle led by 1990s and streetwear styles, with Adidas, Vans, Supreme and Tommy Hilfiger as the most notable positive brand movers.”
For footwear, Nike still held the top spot; however, Vans has expanded its standing, registering 16 percent of the market share, up from 12 percent last fall. Meawhile, Adidas hung on to its third-place ranking a 14 percent share, up from 11 percent.
In the apparel category, Nike is also the top preferred brand for both male and female teens, though its share dipped to 23 percen, from 31 percent, among young consumers. Rounding out the top three are American Eagle and Adidas.
As for the fashion trends dominating Gen Z wardrobes, Piper Jaffray revealed that young male consumers still opt for Nikes and Jordans, followed by general athleticwear and product by Adidas. On the other hand, young female shoppers have returned to the leggings trend — more specifically, those by Lululemon — trailed by ripped jeans (last fall’s No. 1 fashion trend for the same demographic) and general jeanswear.
Note: Piper Jaffray classified the teens into upper-income and average-income groups, with the former representing 1,400 teens with an average household income of $100,000 (or the top 20 percent of household units in the country) and the latter constituting 4,600 teens with an average household income of $56,000 that aligns more closely with the U.S. median.