Nike, Air Jordan and Lululemon stand out in Cowen’s Gen Z / Millennial survey


Cowen’s fourth annual Gen Z and Millennial survey found that Nike, Air Jordan, and Lululemon have solid traction preferably in the active lifestyle space among younger people. The North Face and Amazon also ranked top by preference, and the global survey suggested that ESG and social commerce have taken on a bigger scale in 2021.

The results come from a survey conducted in July 2021 of 1,200 US consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 and 1,500 consumers between the ages of 35 and 55. Cowen compared the results with previous surveys he conducted in June 2020, June 2019, and December 2017.

Nike and Adidas dominate preferences for athletic performance clothing
In athletic performance clothing, Nike leading share preference among Gen Z respondents aged 18-24 at 51% in 2021, roughly in line with the pre-pandemic preference share of 52% in 2019 and up from 49% of last year. Among Millennials aged 25 to 34, Nike held a 41% share, down from 45% before the pandemic but above the 39% level it had in 2020. Adidas was the second most popular sportswear brand among 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds. Among Generation Z, Adidas’ preference share fell to 17% in 2021 from 23% in 2020 and 19% before the pandemic. Among Millennials, Adidas’ preferred share of sportswear rose to 21% in 2021, from 17% before the pandemic and 16% in 2020. Lululemon and Champion saw a modest share of preference in sports performance clothing increase from 2020 and pre-pandemic levels for 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds to 5% and 6%, respectively. Under protection was among the brands that experienced a contraction from pre-pandemic levels in preference for athletic performance clothing, from 6% to 10% among 18-24 year olds and to 11% from 15% among 25 to 34 year olds -old.

Lululemon sees major gains in preference for casual lifestyle clothing
In the casual lifestyle clothes, Nike leads the choice of preferences at 42% among 18 to 24 year olds in 2021, in line with the pre-pandemic level and up slightly from 2020 at 41%. Among 25-34 year olds, Nike’s participation rates are 38% in 2021, down slightly from 39% in 2019, but up from 37% in 2020. Adidas is the next preferred choice for casual lifestyle clothing among 18-24 year olds at 23% in 2021, up from the pre-pandemic level of 19% but down from 26% in 2020. Among the 25-34- year-olds in 2021, the casual lifestyle clothing preference for Adidas is 22%, compared to a pre-pandemic level of 20% and 18% in 2020. Lululemon demonstrated an exponential gain in 2021 among 18 to 24 year olds over pre-pandemic levels, from 9% in 2021 to 4% in 2019. Among 25 to 34 year olds, Lululemon maintained its pre-pandemic level. pandemic brand preference share at 6 percent. Under protectionThe share of casual lifestyle clothing brands has declined both year over year and from pre-pandemic levels for 18-24 and 25-34 year olds. Under Armor’s casual clothing preference share was 8% among 18-24 year olds in 2021, up from 13% before the pandemic and 9% last year. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, Under Armor’s preference for casual lifestyle clothing contracted to 14% in 2021, from 17% before the pandemic and 19% last year.

Nike Tops Sports Shoes Preferences
When shopping for athletic shoes, the brand preference among 18-24 year olds is in the lead with Nike to 41% in 2021, against 47% before the pandemic. Adidas is the second most popular athletic shoe brand for 18-24 year olds with 18% in 2021, in line with its pre-pandemic level but down from 21% last year. Brand Jordan has trended upward over several years among 18-24 year olds, rising to 11% in 2021, up from 9% before the pandemic and last year. Among 25-34 year olds, the preference for athletic footwear brands was dominated by Nike at 37% in 2021, but the trajectory is down from 45% in 2017. The beneficiary of this share preference seems to have been captured. by Adidas, which rose to 20% in 2021, up from 10% in 2017. Hoka one one has a small but growing preference share for athletic shoes, rising to 3% in 2021 from 1% in 2020 among 18-24 year olds, its first year of inclusion in Cowen’s survey. Among 24- to 35-year-olds, Hoka’a’s preference share was 2% in 2021, up from 3% in 2020. Under Armor’s preference for athletic footwear remained relatively unchanged at 7% among 18-24 year olds over the four years of Cowen’s survey.

Adidas, Puma and Ugg Show Growing Popularity for Casual Lifestyle Shoes
When shopping for casual lifestyle shoes, Gen Z and Millennial respondents preferred Nike at 30% in 2021 for 18-24 year olds and 28% for 25-34 year olds. Nike’s preference among the two age groups was pretty much unchanged from pre-2019 pandemic levels. Adidasdemonstrated increasing preference share gains for both age groups with 18 to 24 year olds at 15% in 2021, compared to 13% in 2017 and 14% in 2019, and 17% for 25 to 34 year olds in 2021 , compared to 11% in 2017 and 16% in 2019. Puma and UGG both indicated a growing preference for casual lifestyle shoes in 2021, up 5% for Puma and 7% for UGG among 18-24 year olds, and 9% for Puma and 4% for UGG at 25 to 34 year olds. years. Under protection‘s The preference share of sports shoes increased slightly in 2021 to 7%, from 6% before the pandemic among 18 to 24 year olds, while the preference share of 25 to 34 year olds was 7% in 2021, up from 8 % pre-pandemic.

The North Face wins preference in outerwear
When shopping for outerwear, Gen Z and Millennials prefer The north face at 44% in 2021 for 18-24 year olds and 37% for 25-34 year olds. Both cohorts’ preference for The North Face in outerwear has slowed from 2020 and 2019 levels. Preference in outerwear for Colombia among 18-24 year olds rose to 26% in 2021, compared to 20% in 2020 and 21% in 2019. Patagonia rose to 12% for 18-24 year olds in 2021, compared to 10% in 2020 and 9% in 2019. Among 25-34 year olds, the outerwear preference share showed year-over-year gains for several brands, including Patagonia, which rose to 11% in 2021 from 10% in 2020 and 2019 ; Marmot at 10% in 2021 against 7% in 2020 and 4% in 2019; Canada Goose at 7 percent in 2021 compared to 5 percent in 2020 and 6 percent in 2019; and Arc’teryx at 4% in 2021 against 2% in 2020 and 3% in 2019.

Other survey results include:

  • Amazon leads as the preferred shopping destination. Amazon preference is strong among 18-24 and 25-34 year olds, with 74% and 72% respectively citing Amazon as their preferred buying channel. Amazon has increased its lead as the most likely place for consumers to start product research, cited by 34% from 33% last year. The platform is the most likely place to search for a product before an in-store or online purchase and is the most likely place to make a purchase (38% in 2021 vs. 34% in 2020). In clothing, shoes and accessories, 38% of Gen Z and Millennials surveyed were the most likely to buy these categories on Amazon, up from 34% in 2020.
  • Amazon ranks as the top choice for sports-related purchases. In a new question from Cowen’s 2021 survey, participants were asked what their retail chain / banner preference was when purchasing sports-related equipment, clothing and footwear, including included in store and online. Amazon was the first choice among 18-24 year olds at 32% and 40% for 25-34 year olds. Walmart was the second preferred retailer with 23% for 18-24 year olds and 26% for 25-34 year old, followed by Dick’s Sporting Goods at 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Dick’s 21% sporting goods preference for 18-24 year olds far surpassed the second highest par of sporting goods, Sports + Outdoor Academy, at 6 percent.
  • Social impact / sustainability extends as purchasing drivers. When buying clothes, shoes and accessories, the social impact / sustainability is rated as ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’ by 80% for 18-34 year olds, compared to 67% in 2017, against 74% for 35-year-olds. -at age 54 and only 47% for those 55 and over. Nike, Adidas, Vans, The North Face and Under Armor have all ranked among Millennials and Gen Z in line with their social values ​​of sustainability.
  • Social commerce trends are accelerating. Influence scores for each social platform increased 10% to 17% year over year, as more users follow brands on each social platform compared to 2020, and more 40% of users indicated that they had purchased products from a brand that they recently discovered on each platform.
  • Resale takes off. Resale concepts show massive gains among 18-34 year olds (up 33% year over year), with 44% of 18-34 year olds having bought something second-hand in a premier market plan. Poshmarkshowed the highest user base, while StockX and goat posted strong gains thanks to the strength of Nike and Air Jordan.
  • Non-price retailing is gaining market share. Sixty-one percent of 18-24 year olds and 63 percent of 25-34 year olds have purchased from TJX Cos. (TJ Maxx / Marshalls), Burlington stores or Ross stores in the last 30 days of the survey compared to 48% and 52% respectively in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Luxuo


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