New Survey Reveals Gen Z’s Buying Habits; Apparel Tops List for First Time Since 2014

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A new survey of 10,000 teens across 44 states sheds light on where Gen Z is spending their dollars these days, and according to results, the clothing market is currently their top priority.

Whether the renewed interest is based on return to schools and the world at large following long quarantine periods is not clear, but shopping malls are happy to see the return of teens to their retail outlets. Especially considering the clothing market has not seen the top share of Gen Z’s investment since spending in that sector waned in 2014.

Nike claimed the top spot for the most popular apparel brand among Gen Z, with Lululemon making significant gains for second place. Other strong showings were found by fashion brands Crocs, Pacsun, Hey Dude, Zara, Shein, and Gymshark. 

Clothing industry gains were primarily driven by female-led spending, and particular interest rose in female-centric sites like Shein. Respondents also revealed a new trend emerging, with a significant portion of teens buying and selling second-hand.

Food has traditionally been Gen Z’s hottest spending habit, with favorite food and beverage spots found at Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Chipotle. Teens aiming for beauty destinations chose Ulta and Sephora, 46% to 21%. 

The survey also queried other areas of interest to Gen Z, including entertainment and social causes. Not surprisingly, the environment and racial equality topped their political and social issues list, with Afghanistan emerging as a new priority. Gen Z’ers remain closely connected on social media, spending four hours a day on platforms like Snapchat and TikTok, while Instagram showed a slight decline in use.

What is Gen Z watching and how will they continue to influence the future of marketing efforts and brand successes? Read more here to find out: