Wal-Mart is one of the most popular retailers among millennials, according to consumer data.
The retailer is rated higher than Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Costco among shoppers under the age of 24, Ad Age reports, citing data from the consulting firm InfoScout.
Wal-Mart also ranks second only to Target among shoppers between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the data.
Wal-Mart’s popularity among young people may come as a surprise to many analysts who say millennials prefer convenient, smaller-format stores and online shopping over the big-box retailers where their parents shopped.
Even Wal-Mart executives have admitted they are surprised by the data.
“Millennials now, as a generation, like Walmart the best, more so than Generation X, more so than boomers,” Matt Kistler, Walmart senior VP-consumer insights and analytics, told Ad Age.
“That kind of shocks a lot of people, including inside the company,” Wal-mart Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn said to Ad Age.
But Wal-Mart’s cheap prices are a big draw for cash-strapped millennials, many of whom are underemployed and working multiple jobs to pay off student loan debt.
The classof 2015 has the highest level of college debt in US history, according toCNBC. On average, students graduating this year will owe $US35,051 in student loans, CNBC reports based on data from Mark Kantrowitz, a student financial aid policy expert and publisher ofEdvisors.com.
Millennials are also spending more on technology and food than previous generations, leaving them with less discretionary income.
“The millennial customer grew up with a lot of hardship,” Kistler told Ad Age. “They see Walmart as a place where they can save money.”
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