If you have a university-aged female on your holiday list, you may want to pay attention.
Goldman Sachs polled hundreds of college-age women on their favourite clothing brands, revealing three clear winners.
Though the results aren’t necessarily surprising, the favourites mark a departure from longtime market-dominators like Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and Coach.
According to the survey, these consumers increasingly prefer clothing without labels or logos. Now, today’s female university students are more likely to spend their hard-earned dollars (or their parents’ hard-earned dollars) on electronics than apparel, making it more difficult to retain this group as loyal customers.
As it turns out, however, the 579 students polled had soft spots for Nike, Free People, and Kate Spade.
When it comes to athletic wear, more than 50 per cent of respondents chose Nike as their favourite brand. Beloved yoga staple Lululemon came in at a distant second, with about 25 per cent of votes. “Nike is the most-loved brand by far,” Goldman Sachs analysts write. Nike also ranked as Goldman’s second most popular footwear brand behind Steve Madden. It isn’t too surprising; Nike continues to expand its stylish clothing options, especially for females.
The bohemian weekend brand ranked as the favourite apparel retailer for college-age girls. Beating out other usual suspects like Topshop, Forever 21, H&M, and Zara, sales at Free People stores open at least a year grew 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2015. “Amazing is the word that comes to mind when I hear the Free People story: 13 consecutive quarters of double-digit comp sales growth. It’s a remarkable story and a tribute to the extraordinary performance of the Free People team,” CEO Richard Hayne said on a conference call with analysts according to Business Insider.
When it comes to handbags, Kate Spade topped the list, likely thanks to the brand’s subtle, classic designs (free of any bombardment of loud logos). Kate Spade came ahead of Michael Kors, Coach, and Tory Burch.
Whether these brands remain favourites into young adulthood remains to be seen. The survey does, however, offer a little insight into the forecasted preferences of the upcoming young professional target market.