The kids are alright. Even for brick-and-mortar retail.
According to a new survey by Cowen Equity Research, Gen Z and millennial consumers — i.e. emerging big spenders — are shopping in physical stores more often than the general population. And especially if retailers carry products by their favorite brands: Nike Inc. (NKE) - Get Report , Calvin Klein (owned by PVH Corp. (PVH) - Get Report ) and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS) .
The overwhelming majority of adults ages 18 to 35, for instance, have shopped at a physical store in the past month, according to the report. That's 74% of adults ages 18 to 24 and 77% of those ages 25 to 34 — Gen Z and millennials, respectively — compared to the total population at 72%. Gen Z and millennial consumers, in fact, are more likely to have shopped at a department store, outlet store and off-price retailer in the past 30 days than the general population.
"While we expect retail traffic to trend lower at a low-to-mid single-digit percentage rate [year over year], younger demographics value physical retail more highly than older demographics," the Cowen team wrote.
For retailers, value offered to customers preserves market share. While a strong majority of the total population all said price was the most important quality for shopping in stores, Gen Z was even more likely to seek affordability — 32% versus 28% for everyone else.
- Why Millennials Love Warren Buffett
- Generation Z Will Own Homes, Never Mind College, Marriage, Family
As for what brands they're most likely to pick out, Nike is the clear winner in the sportswear category. Nearly half of all respondents in the Gen Z category cited Nike as their first choice for athletic wear, over Adidas AG (ADS) - Get Report , Under Armour Inc. (UAA) - Get Report , Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) - Get Report and all other brands. Overall, apparel is much more fragmented, though Calvin Klein and Inditex' H&M captured notable share of Gen Z shoppers (24% for both).
Despite H&M's slowing growth in recent quarters, the report indicates that the Swedish fast-fashion stalwart is still more popular than its Spanish rival, Zara. Only 4% of the general population said Zara was their first choice for fashion apparel, versus 16% for H&M.
"Our survey indicated Amazon was the clear preferred shopping destination for all verticals," the Cowen team wrote, pointing to 90% of the population between ages 18 and 54 and 82% of those over 55. About 33% of Gen Z and millennials said Amazon is where they would begin a search for a new apparel item — more than double of Alphabet Inc.'s Google (GOOGL) - Get Report . And even if they end up buying an item through another channel, 44% of Gen Z and millennial shoppers say they referenced Amazon during the process.
Noted the report, "It begins and ends on Amazon for Gen Z and millennials."
Watch TheStreet Newsroom's Weekend Jolt on Youtube!