We prefer bikes to cars. We prefer vertical living to single family homes with sprawling lawns. We use the internet to compare pricing but prefer to touch and feel the item before they purchase it. We prefer authenticity to mass production – and – we want to know that the person they are spending their money with cares about their community, the environment and humanity as a whole. We are millennials and we are the largest, living generation on planet Earth.
Standard & Poor’s U.S. chief economist, Ann Bovino notes that there are 80 million millennials spending $600 billion dollars annually. In just three years, millennials will average $1.4 trillion in spending accounting for 30% of total retail sales.
So, how will this generation – the only generation to be born with technology – breathe new life into Mom and Pop stores? When you take the time to analyze our spending habits and the way we conduct our lives, the answer will come clear.
Millennials, similar to the Silent Generation which grew up during the Great Depression, have conservative spending habits. We are living with our families longer and when we do strike out on our own, we tend to share living quarters with friends or relatives.
Millennials carry a significant amount of student debt. Unlike the Silent Generation born between 1920 and 1940, who finished their education and slipped into jobs created by New Deal Programs, many millennials are being forced to volunteer as interns or work part time in order to get a foothold into a company where fulltime jobs are still being occupied by baby boomers who are retiring later in life. Others are taking jobs they wouldn’t ordinarily consider, and volunteering their time for non-profit organizations whose causes reflect their own beliefs. In short, the majority of millennials are starting the careers they were trained for later in their lives which means many of us are putting off the purchase of big ticket items such as cars and homes.
Because we are educated and passionate, when it comes to purchasing, millennials want to know that their opinion matters. When we have a complaint or a suggestion about a product, we want the company to take action swiftly. Many bike, walk or depend on public transportation to get them where they are going. Most prefer locally sourced ingredients in their meals and recycled content in the products they buy. We appreciate repurposed products and spend a great deal of money in “vintage” shops – not as much for the bargain, but because we appreciate the history that comes with the item.
Millennials tend to be very social. We seek an experience when gathering with friends and oftentimes share that experience with others via social media. We are more apt to text than talk on the phone, and if we can express ourselves with a photo and a snappy tagline – all the better.
Millennials do not respond to flashy advertising that Gen X’ers are used to seeing. For us, bigger doesn’t mean better – it means wasteful. And “new and improved” means that you didn’t get it right the first time.
This snapshot into the mind of a millennial should provide you with a pretty good idea about why Mom and Pop store will be successful in the coming years. A neighborhood shop that provides a quality product delivered in a comfortable atmosphere without trying to oversell us will keep us coming back time and time again.
As millennials continue to gather buying power, there will be thousands of studies conducted to unravel our shopping habits. However, if you want to truly understand what millennials want, I suggest that you ask one. So give me a call at 718 816-7799 or email me at Brian@CasandraProperties.com and I will be happy to help you locate your Mom and Pop store in a location where millennials will be sure to find you.