Teens no longer want the one thing retailers have been banking on for years


teen shopping

Associated Press

Sisters Abigail, 20, left, and Aridis Guszman, 14, of the Bronx borough of New York, shop during the grand opening of the Material Girl clothing line at Macy's.

Teens are changing the shape of retail as we know it.

But as companies struggle to survive, it's important for retailers to know what they like - and don't like.

Business Insider polled 110 teens to find out some answers to some questions retailers may have about teens.


The group we polled told us something they don't care about: Brand-name apparel, a hallmark of shopping for clothes as a teen in the early aughts.

Now Gen Z - whose constituents are famously picky - care mostly about how clothes look.

We asked teens what the biggest factor is when it comes to deciding if they'll buy apparel.


Some 56% said "style" mattered most. "Price" came in second, with 30.91%. Only 4.55% said that "brand" mattered most, and others responded independently saying it was an amalgam of features. This could explain the rise of fast-fashion stores like Forever 21; they churn out stylish, runway-inspired apparel at bargain-worthy prices.

"The price and style of the clothing is a definite huge decision [maker] as well as the brand. Many stores have very high prices and personally as a teen I don't have a lot of money. Many parents get sick of buying teens new clothes constantly and sometimes will put it the burden on me, so I look for a cheap but good quality store to buy from," one teen wrote.

This is a death knell to brands that depended on their names to drive foot traffic. Look no further than Aeropostale's recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as proof.


brandy melville

Brandy Melville on Instagram

Brandy Melville doesn't sell clothing with its logo on it.

Additionally, teens are split as to whether they want to wear apparel with a logo plastered onto it.

A slight majority - 55.45% - said they don't care if a logo is on a piece of apparel. The rest said they do purchase certain items for the logo.


Stores like Brandy Melville that do not sell logo-driven apparel have become teen favorites, in addition to the aforementioned rise of affordable fast fashion.

Abercrombie & Fitch has made adjustments to its apparel selection to adapt to how people prefer clothing without its name emblazoned across it, though it does still sell some apparel with its name on it. Even Aeropostale is trying to adapt; a look at some of its recent Instagram posts shows that it's selling more logo-free apparel now. Though competition is steep, considering that there are fast-fashion stores that offer similar looks at lower prices.

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