Kurt Salmon evaluated the attitudes of more than 900 young shoppers, ages 18 to 24, to understand their perceptions of apparel retailers.

For this research, Kurt Salmon partnered with Prosper Inc., a leader in online market intelligence, to evaluate seven years’ worth of comprehensive consumer data. We found that:

  • Young shoppers, while more optimistic than their older counterparts, have become less confident in the economy. Only 26% of 18- to 24-year-olds say they feel confident in a strong economy over the next six months vs. 42% in Q4 2007 and 49% in Q4 2006.
  • As a result, young shoppers plan to spend less on clothing, with 36% planning to spend less on clothing over the next 90 days vs. 24% in Q4 2007 and 23% in Q4 2006.
  • Despite less future spending on apparel, fashion and style remain important factors to young people. Only 35% say fashion is less important than value and comfort, relatively unchanged from 36% in Q4 2006.
  • In this environment, retailers with both fashion and price advantages should perform relatively well. Young women’s retailers Charlotte Russe, Forever 21 and H&M score high on both fashion and price dimensions.
  • Retailers with this advantage also have higher brand advocacy. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21 and H&M are among the top six apparel retailers in terms of brand strength, with price being the primary driver.

1 January 2009