Nike is dominating teen retail, and that’s great news for its future.
The brand was 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 also topped the footwear category, with 46% of the vote. The second-place winner, Vans, received just 9% of endorsements.
Teens are increasingly buying gear from Nike and Lululemon over denim classics from brands like Abercrombie, according to the survey.
Activewear is now more popular than jeans among upper-income females, a sign that other consumers will follow, according to the survey.
Nike is continuing to expand its clothing assortments, especially for women. Its also pouring money into investing in the most cutting-edge shows in the market.
Competitors are also capitalising on the athletic trend.
Lululemon is expanding a sister brand called Ivivva for tween customers. And Adidas said it plans to work to be the go-to brand for teen athletes’ gear.
Still, Nike is the huge winner, with 72% of teens surveyed saying it was their favourite activewear label.
Being the leader the teen market is great news for Nike’s future because it is likely that young people will grow up and continue buying the brand.
It seems the activewear trend is here to stay.
The number of people participating in running events has grown an average of 9% every year since 2005, according to Morgan Stanley. Data also shows that millennials believe exercise is essential for health, while their parents only focused on diet.
“Increased activity leads to increased athletic apparel and footwear spending,” the analysts write. “We see athletic footwear and apparel as more than a fashion trend.”
Kids who play sports are a growing part of Nike’s business, according to CEO Mark Parker.
Nike gets young athletes to wear its products through sponsorships with local leagues, clubs, and federations.
It also sees partnerships with professional athletes as an important way to draw in young customers.
All NFL teams currently wear Nike gear. The brand also has partnerships with scores of famous athletes, including basketball star Kobe Bryant and tennis champion Roger Federer.
Under Armour has also started signing famous athletes as a way to attract young customers.