If we compare consumers in financial terms, Generation Z would definitely be a “whale”. The purchasing power of this consumer makes it the ultimate target. Brands and retailers proudly tout the successes of Generation Z during benefit calls.
However, Generation Z is becoming a ghost to the clothing and fashion industry. Over the past 12 months, clothing spending among US consumers aged 18 to 24 has declined faster than any other generation. Sarkana Consumer Tracking (formerly IRI and The NPD Group).
Sales revenue from this slot decreased by 11% compared to the previous year. Traditionally, these young consumers were the biggest fans of the fashion industry, but today they are more focused on other interests and industries.
Change from “status symbol” to “life satisfaction”
Among those aged 18-24, the fashion industry is losing share in favor of sectors such as toys and beauty, as this age group is redistributing its spending. This expenditure outlay signals a change in behavior among today’s youth, as their focus shifts from status symbol categories to products that provide greater life satisfaction. In short, Generation Z is prioritizing lifestyle and wellness needs rather than accumulating more stuff.
The beauty industry has benefited from this shift as Gen Z closely attributes makeup and skincare to health, wellness and self-expression. In fact, one in five consumers aged 18-24 wear makeup as a form of self-care, while 41% say skincare will be one of their health and wellness goals by 2023, according to recent surveys from Circana. . New and hyper-focused niche brands in the beauty industry are championing personalization and individuality. Plus, the relatively low cost of a beauty product like lipstick makes it an easier treat than designer jeans.
While beauty products may give Gen Z a boost of self-esteem as they enter adulthood, the toy industry is helping them rekindle the joy they felt as children. Consumers 12 years and older or “kidlets” are expected to have the largest share of toy sales in 2022 and account for nearly 50% of industry growth. Investing in collectibles or building a Lego DeLorean is a nostalgic time for a generation that has spent the last three years of its teenage years dealing with a global pandemic.
Interwoven with lifestyle, fitness and nostalgia, Generation Z seems to be making up for lost time during the pandemic. They’re dating, even though those activities are becoming more and more expensive. In the next three months, 82% of Gen Z consumers plan to engage in some sort of activity, with dining out, going to the movies and going on vacation as the top areas of interest. Inflation may come down; Although the prices are not coming down. Because those dinners and trips have become more expensive, they’re taking up a bigger chunk of Gen Z’s already tight budgets.
In a sea of options, fast fashion and resale platforms create a perfect storm
When Gen Z is shopping for clothes, they can tread water, as their tastes and trends are ever-changing. Hit trends used to be easy to predict, as colors and styles traditionally filtered down the runway, originated at the top and traveled in a downward direction through the retail ranks.
Yet today trends come from everywhere, with many subfashion movements and “cores” starting with the consumer on social media and finding their way to sales only after the trend has faded and consumers have already turned the page. Have given.
This is one of the main reasons why reselling platforms and “fast fashion” are doing so well among young consumers. According to Circana surveys, 18-24 year olds are more likely to purchase both resale and fast fashion due to stylish offerings, while for all other ages, price was the driving factor. Resale and fast fashion platforms are the perfect style storm for Gen Z, offering young consumers endless options and affordable prices.
Winning strategy for brands and retailers
Above all, brands and retailers have to cut down on the noise. Beneath the chaotic surface of kernels, knockoffs, and viral trends, Gen Z’s shopping motivation is pretty straightforward: They buy things that align with their self-expression, make them feel good, and bring joy to their lives. Are. There are too many external influences coming at them at once, a constant stream of disorganized instructions, but this clutter of information also gives them the freedom to truly align with the brands and products that best reflect who they are. Are or want to be.
By its very nature, the apparel industry instills in consumers the values of confidence and self-expression, but these traits need to be brought to the fore. It is important that the industry focus on style rather than trends. By cutting through the noise and catering to the personalization and individuality of this generation, the apparel industry can harness the enormous potential to reach Gen Z consumers on a deeper level.