The apparel market is changing like never before.
That’s especially true for teen and young adult consumers, who are eschewing longtime powerhouses like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and Coach.
These consumers increasingly prefer clothing without labels or logos. They’re more likely to spend on electronics than apparel, making getting them as loyal customers all the more challenging.
Goldman Sachs’ poll of 579 “college fashionistas” revealed the new winners in this changing landscape.
“Nike is the most-loved brand by far,” Goldman Sachs analysts write.
More than 50% of respondents chose Nike as their favourite athleticwear brand. Lululemon came in a distant second, with about 25% of votes.
The brand also ranked as Goldman’s second most-popular footwear brand behind Steve Madden.
Nike was also the top preferred clothing retailer among teens surveyed by research firm Piper Jaffray, beating out Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters, and Hollister.
Nike is continuing to expand its clothing assortments, especially for women.
2. Free People
Urban Outfitters’ more upscale bohemian brand ranked as the favourite apparel retailer for college-aged girls.
It beat out popular favourites like Topshop, Forever 21, H&M, and Zara.
Sales at Free People stores open at least a year grew 14% in the second quarter of 2015. By comparison, sales at Urban’s namesake brand grew 2%.
“Amazing is the word that comes to mind when I hear the Free People story: thirteen consecutive quarters of double-digit comp sales growth. It’s a remarkable story and a tribute to the extraordinary performance of the Free People team,” CEO Richard Hayne said on a conference call with analysts.
3. Kate Spade
The brand’s handbags topped the list of favourites, putting it ahead of Michael Kors, Coach, and Tory Burch.
Unlike Coach and Michael Kors, which have been known for their loud logos in the past, Kate Spade’s bags feature just a tiny stamp with the brand name.
The classic aesthetic is helping Kate Spade gain more fans as its competitors struggle.
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