25 Oct Cowen Survey: Nike, Lululemon and Dick’s SG Seize Share With Younger Consumers
According to Cowen’s Fifth Annual proprietary Gen Z and Millennial survey, Nike, Lululemon and Dick’s Sporting Goods showed the strongest competitive positions and/or growth in preference among younger consumers within softlines retail. The survey, conducted in July 2022, had 2700 U.S. consumers participate.
Athletic Performance Apparel Preference Share Lifestyle
When shopping for Athletic Performance Apparel, Gen Z and Millennials preferred Nike at 52 percent and 39 percent, respectively, in 2022, from a list of brands that included Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Lululemon, Champion, Columbia, The North Face, Patagonia, and Puma.
Among 18-to-24 year olds, Nike’s preference share increased year-over-year among 18-to-24 year olds and maintained its share versus pre-pandemic. Lululemon increased 60 percent year-over-year to an 8 percent Athletic Performance Apparel preference share in 2022 among 18-to-24 year olds and increased versus pre-pandemic levels. Under Armour also improved its Athletic Performance Apparel preference share among 18-to-24 year olds, rising to 11 percent in 2022, up from 6 percent last year and versus 10 percent pre-pandemic. In contrast, Adidas’s Athletic Performance Apparel brand preference decreased to 10 percent in 2022 from 17 percent last year and 19 percent pre-pandemic.
Among 25-to-34 year olds, Under Armour and Lululemon showed improved Athletic Performance Apparel brand preference scores, rising to 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively in 2022. For Under Armour, the preference score in 2022 improved year-over-year and recovered from pre-pandemic levels while Lululemon increased year-over-year and above pre-pandemic levels for 25-to-34 year olds. Despite Nike being the lead Athletic Performance Apparel preference among 25-to-34 year olds at 39 percent, it was down year-over-year from 41 percent in 2021 and from 43 percent pre-pandemic. Adidas brand preference among 25-to-34 year olds also declined, falling 28 percent to 15 percent in 2022 from 21 percent last year and down from 17 percent pre-pandemic.
Casual Lifestyle Apparel Preference
Cowen’s survey data shows Lululemon as a share gainer among Gen Z and Millennials regarding brand preference when shopping for Casual Lifestyle Apparel.
Lululemon’s preference share increased to 11 percent in 2022, rising 22 percent year-over-year and 175 percent over pre-pandemic levels. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, Lululemon’s preference share jumped 33 percent year-over-year versus pre-pandemic levels, to 8 percent. Nike’s preference share among Gen Z and Millennials was more consistent among 18-to-24-year-olds than for 25-to-34-year-olds, attaining a 41 percent leading share in 2022, flat with 2019 through 2022.
Among 25-to-34-year-olds, Nike’s Casual Lifestyle Apparel preference share was 36 percent in 2022, down from 38 percent in 2021 and 39 percent in 2019. Other brands, including Adidas, Under Armour, Champion, and Puma, had less discernable brand preference share patterns among Gen Z and Millennials when shopping for Casual Lifestyle Apparel.
Athletic Footwear Preference Share
When shopping for Athletic Footwear, both Gen Z and Millennials prefer Nike at 44 percent and 36 percent, respectively, in 2022, among a list of brands that include Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Under Armour, Reebok, Puma, New Balance, Skechers, Hoka, and On Running.
Combined with Jordan, Nike’s preference share grew to 55 percent and 43 percent for Gen Z and Millennials in 2022. Nike’s athletic footwear preference share increased year-over-year among 18-to-24-year-olds but decreased versus its pre-pandemic share. Jordan Brand increased to 11 percent in 2022, up from 9 percent pre-pandemic. Adidas’ Athletic Footwear preference share decreased 28 percent year-over-year with 18-to-24-year-olds to 13 percent in 2022 from 18 percent in 2021 and versus pre-pandemic levels.
Among 25-to-34-year-olds, Nike maintained its lead Athletic Footwear preference among 25-to-34-year-olds, its preference share diminished annually from 2017 through 2022, moving from 45 percent in 2017 to 36 percent in 2022. While other brands had a single-digit preference share compared to Nike, the data indicated a rising preference for Adidas among 25-to-34-year-olds, moving from 10 percent in 2017 to a peak of 20 percent in 2021, then easing in 2022 to 16 percent. Hoka and On Running registered single-digit shares in a few years of inclusion in Cowen’s survey.
Casual Lifestyle Footwear Preference
The Casual Lifestyle Footwear category showed a high percentage of performance footwear continues to be worn for casual wear. The overall Casual Lifestyle Footwear category remains a highly fragmented, branded category versus Athletic Performance Footwear, which is more concentrated among a select number of brands.
When asked about preference for Casual Lifestyle Footwear, Nike lead with a 33 percent share among 18-to-24-year-olds, above 30 percent last year and above the 28 percent pre-pandemic level. Puma increased over pre-pandemic levels with a preference share of 5 percent in 2022 among 18-to-24-year-olds, up from 4 percent pre-pandemic. Vans increased year-over-year to a 20 percent Casual Lifestyle Footwear preference share in 2022, up from 16 percent last year but down from 26 percent pre-pandemic. The survey data shows a peak share of 19 percent for Adidas in 2020, which decreased annually through 2022 to 10 percent.
For Millennials, lead preference within Casual Lifestyle Footwear is Nike at 28 percent in 2022, flat with last year but down from 30 percent pre-pandemic. Adidas is the second most preferred at 14 percent in 2022, down from 17 percent last year and 16 percent pre-pandemic. Vans reached a 13 percent casual lifestyle footwear preference share among 25-to-34-year-olds in 2022, up from 11 percent in 2021, but slightly down from 14 percent pre-pandemic.
Sporting Goods Channel Preference
Dick’s Sporting Goods led among 18-to-24-year-olds for preference when shopping for sports-related equipment, apparel and footwear, with its preference share increasing 34 percent year-over-year. Dick’s surpassed Amazon, which had the lead in channel preference in 2021, and also moved ahead of Walmart.
Among 25-to-34-year-olds, Dick’s increased its mindshare by 12 percent year-over-year to 19 percent in 2022 but trails Amazon with a preference share of 32 percent and Walmart with a preference share of 26 percent.
Cowen wrote, “Our Gen Z and Millennial survey data support the transformation that Dick’s Sporting Goods has achieved over the past several years, reflecting the gains in market share and opportunity ahead.”
Among 18-to-24-year-olds on preference when shopping for sports related equipment, apparel and footwear, Dick’s had a 28 percent share, up from 21 percent in Cowen’s 2021 survey. Among that age group, mindshare for those categories decreased at Amazon to 25 percent from 32 percent in 2021 and stayed flat at Walmart at 23 percent. Among smaller retail chains, Gen-Z’s share in the category grew at Academy Sports to 7 percent from 6 percent in 2021, increased at Cabela’s to 4 percent from 1 percent; was flat at Hibbett Spots, at 4 percent; and declined slightly at REI, to 3 percent from 4 percent.
Among 25-to-34-year-olds, Dick’s share in preference when shopping for sports-related equipment, apparel and footwear grew to 19 percent from 17 percent; Amazon’s decreased to 32 percent from 40 percent; Walmart stayed the same at 26 percent year-over-year; Academy was flat at 5 percent; Cabela’s grew to 4 percent from 2 percent; and Hibbett Sports and REI each gained a share to 3 percent from 2 percent.