Feb 07 2017
The evidence that young consumers’ preferences have created a retail wasteland continues to mount. Wet Seal is the latest youth fashion victim—unable to find extra capital or a buyer since they filed for bankruptcy in 2015, the struggling retailer has been forced to close all of its remaining 171 stores throughout 42 states. The announcement closely follows news that The Limited and American Apparel have also been pushed to close down their retail locations. But some experts say it’s not Millennials’ and Gen Z’s shopping habits that are to blame. According to a Forrester retail expert and analyst, U.S. retail revenue is expected to reach $3.4 trillion this year, and it’s only those retailers “struggling to connect with consumers” that are closing stores.
But the competition is high to connect with them, and with brand names mattering less to these generations, it’s a trickier game to stay on their radar. According to a 2016 Ypulse monthly survey, 66% of 13-33-year-olds disagree with the statement “I like to wear clothing items with logos on them” and 83% agree “I don’t care about what brand an item of clothing is, as long as I like it.” To find out what clothing brands are resonating with these finicky young consumers right now, we just asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to answer the question, “What is your favorite clothing brand? Think of the name on the label”* —and we’ve got the 20 brands mentioned the most:
*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of clothing brands that 13-34-year-olds consider their favorites. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most highly thought of. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.
What’s Their Favorite Clothing Brand?
Polo Ralph Lauren
Victoria’s Secret Pink
Once again, Nike ranks at the top of the list of favorite clothing brands. The athleisure preferences of Millennials and Gen Z are continuing to boost the brand’s favorability, and athleisure doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. The fashion industry says now it’s “just how we dress.” According to activewear subscription service Fitbox’s founder, the clothing category is not a trend but “a new way of life sparked by Millennials’ interest in being stylish and comfy at the same time,” and soon all clothing will be designed with those attributes in mind.
This year, Old Navy eeked out last year’s second ranking favorite American Eagle to take the runner-up place on the list. Affordability, style, and quality for the cost were the most common reason that respondents named the brand. A 27-year-old-female summed it up: “The clothes are in a good price point, lots of variety and on trend.”
Nike also made the top five list for males, females, teens and Millennials:
The brand ranks in the top two spot for all groups except for females, who have Old Navy in their number one spot, and fast-fashion favorite Forever21 ranking second.
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