According to Cowen’s Fifth Annual Exclusive Gen Z and Millennial Survey, Nike, Lululemon and Dick’s Sporting Goods have shown the strongest competitive positions and/or growth in preference among younger consumers within retail. retail textile products. The survey, conducted in July 2022, brought together 2,700 American consumers.
Sharing preferences for athletic performance apparel
When shopping for athletic performance apparel, Gen Z and Millennials preferred Nike by 52% and 39%, respectively, in 2022, from a list of brands including Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Lululemon, Champion, Columbia, The North Face, Patagonia, and Puma.
Among 18-24 year olds, Nike’s preference share increased year over year among 18-24 year olds and maintained its share from the pre-pandemic period. Lululemon grew 60% year-over-year to reach an 8% preference share for athletic performance apparel in 2022 among 18-24 year olds and up from pre-pandemic levels. Under Armor also improved its share of preference for athletic performance apparel among 18-24 year olds to 11% in 2022, from 6% last year and from 10% pre-pandemic. In contrast, preference for the Adidas Athletic Performance Apparel brand fell to 10% in 2022, from 17% last year and 19% pre-pandemic.
Among 25-34 year olds, Under Armor and Lululemon showed improved preference scores for the Athletic Performance Apparel brand, reaching 15% and 6% respectively in 2022. For Under Armour, the preference score in 2022 improved year-over-year and recovered from pre-pandemic levels while Lululemon rose year-over-year and above pre-pandemic levels for 25-34 year olds. Although Nike is the top preference for athletic performance apparel among 25-34 year olds at 39%, it’s down year-over-year from 41% in 2021 and 43% pre-pandemic. Preference for the Adidas brand among 25-34 year olds has also declined, dropping from 28% to 15% in 2022, from 21% last year and from 17% before the pandemic.
Casual lifestyle clothing preference
Cowen’s survey data shows that Lululemon is gaining market share among Gen Z and Millennials when it comes to brand preference when shopping for casual lifestyle apparel.
Lululemon’s preference share grew to 11% in 2022, growing 22% year over year and 175% from pre-pandemic levels. Among 25-34 year olds, Lululemon’s preference share jumped 33% year-over-year from pre-pandemic levels to 8%. Nike’s share of preference among Gen Z and Millennials was more consistent among 18-24 year olds than 25-34 year olds, reaching a 41% market share in 2022, stable from 2019 to 2022.
Among 25-34 year olds, Nike’s share of preference for casual lifestyle clothing was 36% in 2022, compared to 38% in 2021 and 39% in 2019. Other brands including Adidas, Under Armour, Champion and Puma, had less discernible brand preference sharing patterns among Gen Z and Millennials when shopping for casual lifestyle clothing.
Sports shoes preference share
When shopping for athletic shoes, Gen Z and Millennials prefer Nike by 44% and 36%, respectively, in 2022, among a list of brands including Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Under Armour, Reebok, Puma, New Libra, Skechers, Hoka and On Running.
Combined with Jordan, Nike’s share of preference increased to 55% and 43% for Gen Z and Millennials in 2022. Nike’s athletic shoe preference share increased year-over-year at the 18 to 24 year olds, but has declined from its pre-pandemic share. Jordan Brand has grown to 11% in 2022, from 9% before the pandemic. Adidas’ share of preference for athletic shoes fell 28% year-over-year with 18-24 year olds to 13% in 2022 from 18% in 2021 and from pre-pandemic levels.
Among 25-34 year olds, Nike maintained its preference for athletic shoes among 25-34 year olds, its share of preference decreased each year from 2017 to 2022, from 45% in 2017 to 36% in 2022. So that other brands had a single-digit preference share over Nike, the data showed an increasing preference for Adidas among 25-34 year olds, rising from 10% in 2017 to a peak of 20% in 2021 and then in 2022 at 16%. Hoka and On Running saw single-digit shares within a few years of inclusion in Cowen’s survey.
Casual Lifestyle Footwear Preference
The casual lifestyle footwear category showed that a high percentage of performance footwear continues to be worn for casual wear. The overall casual lifestyle footwear category remains a highly fragmented brand category compared to athletic performance footwear, which is more concentrated among a number of brands.
Asked about preference for Casual Lifestyle footwear, Nike leads with a 33% share among 18-24 year olds, up from 30% last year and above the pre-pandemic level of 28%. Puma has grown from pre-pandemic levels with a 5% preference share in 2022 among 18-24 year olds, up from 4% pre-pandemic. Vans grew year-over-year to reach a 20% preference share for casual lifestyle footwear in 2022, up from 16% last year, but up from 26% pre-pandemic. Survey data shows a peak share of 19% for Adidas in 2020, which has declined each year until 2022 to 10%.
For Millennials, the top preference in Casual Lifestyle footwear is Nike at 28% in 2022, flat from last year, but down from pre-pandemic 30%. Adidas is the second favorite with 14% in 2022, up from 17% last year and 16% before the pandemic. Vans reached a 13% preference share for casual lifestyle footwear among 25-34 year olds in 2022, up from 11% in 2021, but down slightly from 14% before the pandemic.
Sporting Goods Channel Preference
Dick’s Sporting Goods leads among 18-24 year olds in the purchase of sports-related equipment, apparel and footwear, with its share of preference increasing 34% year over year. Dick’s overtook Amazon, which had the lead in channel preference in 2021, and also edged out Walmart.
Among 25-34 year olds, Dick’s grew its mind share from 12% year-over-year to 19% in 2022, but trails Amazon with a 32% preference share and Walmart with a preference share by 26%.
Cowen wrote, “Our Gen Z and Millennial survey data supports the transformation that Dick’s Sporting Goods has achieved over the past few years, reflecting market share gains and opportunities ahead.
Among 18-24 year olds who prefer to shop for sports-related gear, apparel and footwear, Dick’s had a 28% share, up from 21% in Cowen’s 2021 survey. Among this age group, mind share for these categories declined at Amazon to 25% from 32% in 2021 and remained stable at Walmart at 23%. Among smaller retail chains, Gen-Z’s share in the category increased at Academy Sports to 7% from 6% in 2021, increased at Cabela’s to 4% from 1%; was stable at Hibbett Spots, at 4%; and fell slightly at REI from 4% to 3%.
Among 25-34 year olds, Dick’s share of preference when buying sports-related equipment, clothing and footwear rose from 17% to 19%; Amazon went from 40% to 32%; Walmart remained the same at 26% year over year; The Academy was stable at 5%; Cabela’s went from 2% to 4%; and Hibbett Sports and REI each gained a share to 3% from 2%.