Piper Jaffray Completes 38th Semi-Annual Generation Z Survey of 9,500 U.S. Teens

  • Overall teen “self-reported” spending decreased by 4% Y/Y & 10% sequentially to $2,400—the lowest level since Fall 2011
  • Thirty-two percent of teens believe the economy is getting worse—higher than the 25% level in Fall 2018
  • Cosmetics spending for females hits 2019-survey low with spending down 21% Y/Y
  • Video games still gaining share now at 9% of total teen wallet vs. 8% last Fall
  • Food continues to be teen’s No. 1 wallet priority at 23% share; Chick-fil-A remains No. 1 restaurant for 4 consecutive surveys
  • Crocs gains notable share to the No. 7 preferred footwear brand, behind Birkenstock

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), a leading investment bank and institutional securities firm, completed its 38th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens® survey, which highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences from 9,500 teens across 42 U.S. states with an average age of 15.8 years. Generation Z, which contributes approximately $830 billion to U.S. retail sales annually*, represents an influential consumer group where wallet size and allocation provide a proxy for category interest.

For the survey infographic and more information, visit piperjaffray.com/teens.

“Our Fall Teen Survey continues to validate several characteristics of this digitally-native demographic: 83% of teens have an iPhone, 52% of teens claim Amazon as their favorite online shopping website, and we saw an acceleration of VSCO and TikTok mentions,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst. “Importantly, however, we saw the lowest teen spending levels in eight years. The two most challenged categories were handbags and cosmetics as females reprioritize their spending with eating out and footwear/apparel. Broadly, the casualization of fashion continues: Nike gained share within its No. 1 rank and lululemon hit a new survey high as the No. 7 preferred apparel brand. Within footwear, Crocs also achieved a new survey record as the 7th preferred footwear brand.”

Fall 2019 Key Findings

Spending & Shopping Behavior

  • Food continues to be male teens’ No. 1 spending category (23%), clothing is female teens’ No. 1 wallet share (27%)
  • Amazon holds majority of online shopping mindshare at 52% —13x higher than the No. 2 ranking, Nike
  • 91% of female teens preferred shopping for beauty in-store vs. online —consistent with historic trend
  • 89% of female teens use online influencers as a source of discovery for beauty brands and trends —Kylie Jenner ranks No. 2 “top influencer” and is the only beauty influencer in the top 10 this Fall
  • Female teens indicated they spend an average of $90/year on handbags — a new survey low and compares to peak spending of $197/year (Spring 2006)

Brand Preferences

  • Preppy brands such as Sperry, Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines continue to cede share to athletic brands —36% of preferred apparel brands are “athletic,” up from 34% last Fall
  • Chick-fil-A remains No. 1 restaurant for 4 surveys; Starbucks retains double-digit share
  • lululemon hits all-time survey high (No. 7 preferred athletic apparel brand vs. No. 11 in Fall 2018)
  • Ulta maintains No. 1 preferred beauty destination against Sephora for second survey in a row
  • Teens spend 37% of their daily video consumption on YouTube, ahead of Netflix at 35%
  • European luxury brands account for 30% of mindshare among preferred handbag brands (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel)
  • iPhone ownership remains at 83%, 86% of teens expect an iPhone to be their next phone

The Piper Jaffray Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from 9,500 teens with an average age of 15.8 years. Discretionary spending patterns, fashion trends, technology, and brand and media preferences are assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S. Since the project began in 2001, Piper Jaffray has surveyed more than 180,000 teens and collected over 45.4 million data points on teen spending.

* Source: Fung Global Retail & Technology

Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) is a leading investment bank and institutional securities firm driven to help clients Realize the Power of Partnership®. Securities brokerage and investment banking services are offered in the U.S. through Piper Jaffray & Co., member SIPC and FINRA; in Europe through Piper Jaffray Ltd., authorized and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority; and in Hong Kong through Piper Jaffray Hong Kong Limited, authorized and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission. Asset management products and services are offered through five separate investment advisory affiliates.

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Pamela Steensland
Tel: 612 303-8185

Release Summary

Piper Jaffray Completes 38th Semi-Annual Generation Z Survey of 9,500 U.S. Teens




Pamela Steensland
Tel: 612 303-8185