Run the Numbers: Vans’ Hot Streak Continues — But Another Brand Is Gaining Ground Among Teens

Run the Numbers unpacks the data that’s driving top retail trends in the industry.

The athleisure market continues to show no signs of slowing down.

The category once again commands the top spot among Generation Zers’ fashion preferences, according to Piper Jaffray’s latest semiannual Taking Stock With Teens survey.

Looking at the spending habits of roughly 9,500 respondents with an average age of 15.8 years, the investment banking firm found that athletic brands like Nike and Adidas still rank high on teenagers’ lists of favorite shoe and clothing brands.

Nike held its No. 1 spot for both footwear and apparel categories, with a market share of 42% and 23%, respectively. Meanwhile, Adidas landed at No. 3 — also in both categories — with 13% of the share for footwear and 6% for apparel.

For its part, Vans maintained its place in footwear at No. 2, with 20% of young adults naming it the top shoe brand. It also reached a new survey high for apparel, moving from No. 9 to No. 8. The skate shoe label saw sales jump 20% during parent company VF Corp.’s first-quarter earnings report in July, with VF chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle noting plans to grow the brand’s revenues from $2 billion to $5 billion by the 2023 fiscal year.

Although Vans’ hot streak remained in the spotlight, a notable mover in the footwear category was Crocs. The lightweight clog maker, reported Piper Jaffray, jumped from No. 13 last fall and No. 19 in the spring to make this season’s top 10 ranking at No. 7, tying with New Balance.

With the rise of “ugly” fashion, Crocs has seen a steady resurgence, noting second-quarter sales in August that grew in the double digits across wholesale, retail and e-commerce. Overall revenues were up 24.2% on a constant currency basis. The company has also ramped up collaborations with a wide range of brands and A-listers including rapper Post Malone, who was named in Piper Jaffray’s study as the No. 14 favorite celebrity.

Piper Jaffray favorite footwear brands
Teens’ favorite footwear brands, according to Piper Jaffray’s semiannual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey for fall 2019.
CREDIT: Piper Jaffray

Overall, however, teenagers’ spending was said to be down 4% year over year and 10% from spring; this fall marks its lowest level in eight years. Nearly a third of the demographic believes that the economy is getting worse amid ongoing changes in the retail landscape as well as geopolitical concerns, including the U.S.-China trade war.

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