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Teen spending on clothes set to rise from pandemic lows: Piper Sandler

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According to a new survey, spending on teenagers is slowly rising from record lows as teenagers show signs of willingness to get dressed, go out and reconnect.

Gen Z is a generation known to be tied to social media apps like TikTok and Instagram. She orients herself to fashion and beauty influencers when making purchases. As a result, online brands like Shein and Princess Polly are growing in popularity, as are thrift stores like Poshmark and Depop. A handful of classic teen brands, including Hollister, Urban Outfitters, and American Eagle, are still on the favorites list.

Teenagers report they’ll spend about $ 2,165 this year, according to Piper Sandler’s 41st Semi-Annual Teen Inventory Report. That’s still a roughly 5% decrease from last year, but a 1% increase from last fall, when youth spending hit a low point not seen in two decades. Reported annual teen spending peaked in early 2006 at about $ 3,023.

Piper Sandler interviewed 7,000 young people from February 19 to March 24. The median age of respondents was 16.1 years and the median household income was $ 76,750.

The survey found that women are currently on a trend similar to the Great Recession and are currently leading the rebound in youth spending. For example, from fall 2009 to spring 2012, spending on women’s clothing increased 24%, compared with a 15% increase for men.

At 29%, the percentage of wallets used by higher-income teenagers for clothing has reached a peak that has not been seen since 2013. That percentage stagnated at 25% from spring 2017 to spring 2019, noted Piper Sandler.

Women’s handbag spending has also improved to $ 93 per teen, up 4% year-over-year and reversing from a multi-year low in the fall, the survey released Wednesday morning found.

The average of all teenagers spending on apparel was $ 508 per person for the year, down about 3% year over year. Teenage girls ‘spending increased 9% year-over-year, while boys’ spending fell 16%.

Nike remained the # 1 clothing brand of choice for teenagers, a place that has persisted for more than a decade. American Eagle retained its second place while Adidas fell to fifth – the sportswear brand’s lowest level in this survey since fall 2017.

Shein, a Chinese fast fashion brand similar to Forever 21, was the most notable winner on the list. In 8th place it broke into the top 10 for the first time and climbed from 11th place in the fall. Mentions of used goods and consignment stores were also in 10th place on the list, compared to the 23rd in the previous year, as more young people are familiarizing themselves with used marketplaces.

The ’90s are back and delving into Gen Z fashion trends. While leggings (ie those sold by Lululemon) are still the top fashion trend among teenage girls, “mom jeans” ranked 3rd in the spring poll. Baggy or saggy pants ranked # 2 and Crop Tops # 6.

Crocs also adds to its dynamism, thanks to partnerships the shoemaker has forged with well-known personalities like Justin Bieber. On average, teens reported spending $ 270 each on shoes this year, a 5% decrease from the previous year. Nike gained market share while Crocs rose from 12th to 8th on the favorites list last spring.

Amazon continues to be the favorite place for teenagers to shop online. 56% of teenagers claim Amazon is their top website for everything from books to electronics. Shein climbed to 2nd place, surpassing Nike. Australian fashion boutique Princess Polly climbed to 6th place, the highest place in the history of the survey. Depop and Lululemon tied for 8th place.

However, many teenagers seem ready to return to the mall for shopping. When asked if they would like to visit a retail store in the next six months, 78% of respondents said they plan to do so.

– CNBC’s Courtney Reagan contributed to this report.

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Robert Dunfee