NIKE's the Top Teen Choice for Both Apparel and Footwear, Piper Jaffray Finds

Investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray Companies completed its 30th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens research survey, which highlights spending trends and brand preferences amongst 9,400 U.S. teens across 46 U.S. states.

This cycle marks a milestone for the survey, celebrating its 15th consecutive year. Since the project began in the spring of 2001, Piper Jaffray has surveyed approximately 125,000 teens and collected nearly 34 million data points on teen spending in fashion, beauty and personal care, digital media, food, gaming and entertainment.

"The power of our teen survey goes beyond the information we capture in any given season. Rather, it aids our ability to zoom out and monitor bigger, and sometimes more subtle, but very real trends. For example, we've observed fashion choices are moving back to authenticity across denim brands, performance athletic brands and independent cosmetic brands," said Neely Tamminga, senior research analyst.

Fall 2015 key findings

Fashion, beauty and personal care
While overall teen spending is down from the spring survey, spending on fashion is up among upper-income teens. What's more, denim brands are inflecting positively for the first fall since 2010 and the category is up substantially from last year. However, this is not coming at a cost to athletic brands — rather,  there's a declining rate in fast fashion retailers as a percentage of overall upper-income females.

In athletic brands, there is a clear divergence between performance athletic and peripheral athletic brands. Nike and comparable brands are strengthening in view of their mindshare dominance and authenticity.

Accessories spending among females decelerated 4 percent year-over-year, in addition to a decline in the intention to purchase handbags. Within cosmetics, there is a trend of de-concentration of brands, where mega brands are ceding share to smaller, independent brands. Central to this shift is the rise of individuality over conforming to a crowd.

Specialty stores are replacing broader merchandise/department stores among affluent females by consuming 33 percent of their shopping time — a 5 percent increase over last year.

Digital media, gaming and entertainment:
Amazon increased mindshare to 38 percent of the overall votes as a preferred website. Furthermore, Amazon Prime membership expanded 400 basis points versus just six months ago. Moreover, teens are spending more time on Netflix and YouTube as opposed to traditional TV; the amount of time they spend on these websites combined equates to 59 percent versus traditional TV at 29 percent.

The most anticipated movies this year among teens are: 1) Hunger Games: Mockingbird, Part 2; 2) Star Wars, The Force Awakens; and 3) Divergent: Allegiant, Part 1.

In music, broadcast radio continues to cede share to streaming, and Spotify is gaining on Pandora. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of participants anticipate buying a next-generation gaming console or already own one, which is up 6 percent over last year — a faster uptake over previous cycles.

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