Millennials represent a new brand of shopper, according to a recent report. Lacking the buying power of their elders, they are more concerned with price than with a specific brand.
The report released this week by New York-based WSL Strategic Retail, which tracks shopper behavior and retail trends, finds that Millennial shoppers, defined as those ages 18-34, currently comprise the highest percentage of Americans who do not have enough money to cover their basic needs. Nearly 25 percent said they are not able to make ends meet, compared to 17 percent of Generation Xers ages 35-54, and 13 percent of baby boomers ages 55 and over.
Among the report’s key findings:
· 80 percent of Millennials believe it’s important to get the lowest price on most things they purchase
· 60 percent are likely to choose a lower priced brand over their usual, if they can save money.
· 57 percent of this demographic make a point to search online for discounts before shopping
· 63 percent are now sticking to only those brands and stores they know they can afford.
The 2012 study finds a 10 percent increase from a 2010 study in those for whom the lowest price, rather than a specific brand, is a priority.
“The young adult market has always been known for being the most fashion forward, first to respond to trends and first to adopt to new retail channels,” said Candace Corlett, President of WSL/Strategic Retail, in a statement. “But they’re also the group that’s been hit hardest by the economic recession which has left them struggling to find jobs and pay down student loan debt.”
In surveys conducted by Millionaire Corner, Millennials are at once cognizant of the financial challenges they face at the present, but also express optimism for their financial futures. Three-quarters of those under 40 we surveyed in January said they feel the “American Dream” will be harder for them to achieve than it was for previous generations. This age group was the most likely to cite job security, career opportunities and educational costs as the biggest obstacles to achieving it.
In a separate survey we conducted last month, 36 percent—vs. 24 percent overall—said that they are concerned about their present level of debt. But 81 percent said they believe the economy will improve.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.