US teens no longer want the one thing retailers have been banking on for years

Teens are changing the shape of retail as we know it.

But as companies struggle to survive, it’s important for retailers to know what they like — and don’t like.

Business Insider polled 110 teens to find out some answers to some questions retailers may have about teens.

The group we polled told us something they don’t care about: brand name apparel, a hallmark of shopping for clothes as a teen in the early aughts.

Now, Gen Z — whose constituents are famously picky — care mostly about how clothes look.

We asked teens what the biggest factor is when it comes to deciding if they will buy apparel or not.

56.36% said “style” mattered most. “Price” came in second, with 30.91%. Only 4.55% said that “brand” mattered most, and others responded independently saying it was an amalgam of features. This could explain the rise of fast fashion stores like Forever 21; they churn out stylish, runway-inspired apparel at bargain-worthy prices.

“The price and style of the clothing is a definite huge decision [maker] as well as the brand. Many stores have very high prices and personally as a teen I don’t have a lot of money. Many parents get sick of buying teens new clothes constantly and sometimes will put it the burden on me, so I look for a cheap but good quality store to buy from,” one teen wrote.

This is a death knell to brands that depended on their names to drive foot traffic. Look no further than Aeropostale’s recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as proof.

Brandy melvilleBrandy Melville on InstagramBrandy Melville doesn’t sell clothing with its logo on it.

Additionally, teens are split as to whether or not they want to wear apparel with a logo plastered onto it.

A slight majority — 55.45% — said they don’t care if a logo is on a piece of apparel. The rest said they do purchase certain items for the logo.

Stores like Brandy Melville that do not sell logo-driven apparel have become teen favourites, in addition to the aforementioned rise of affordable fast fashion.

Abercrombie & Fitch has made adjustments to its apparel selection to adapt to how people prefer clothing with its name emblazoned across it, though it does still sell some apparel with its name on it. Even Aeropostale is trying to adapt; a look at some of its recent Instagram posts shows that it’s selling more logo-free apparel now. Though competition is steep, considering that there are fast fashion stores that can similar looks at lower prices.

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