Industry Focus: Retail

There is a sea change coming, one that will require retailers to respond. And when they do, they’ll no doubt be leaning heavily on companies throughout the supply chain to assist.

“Right now, Baby Boomers are providing the large proportion of sales for retailers,” said Sue Yasav, vice president, research insights leader at Synchrony Financial. But it won’t stay that way for long.  “According to Pew Research, Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce… and they are entering their peak consumption years. Soon they will be a huge shopping force, and the way they interact with retailers is very different. They are digital natives, and retailers will need to consider that.”

Boomers and Millennials do share one thing in common: sheer size. Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, number about 76 million. Millennials—those born between 1980-2000—are slightly larger at 80 million. (Nestled in between is the oft-overlooked Generation X, at about 50 million.)

Jeff Fromm, president of Futurecast and author of Marketing to Millennials, said Millennial is a mindset, not necessarily a birth year. “They believe in fairness and inclusivity,” he said. “They use mobile technology to simplify their lives. They use peer networks to get information. They are always looking for more useful solutions and they have big thirst for adventure.”

According to Yasav, understanding that mindset is key to targeting this population.

By Sandy Smith

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