Retailers are adapting to chase millennials and Gen Z

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Large retailers are trying to retool their presentation and sales methods to become more appealing to both millennial and Generation Z shoppers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Here’s how department stores are adjusting their offerings to attract younger shoppers:

Gen Z's Spending HabitsBI Intelligence
  • Brand mixes: Due to youngershoppers’ wide range of fashion interests, the most attractive apparel display for them is often one that features a balance between streetwear and high fashion. Because of this, many modern stores are displaying styles of clothing across several different brands all in the same place. This is similar to how Macy’s recently shifted its beauty services away from its former brand-specific approach in favour of an open environment where customers can find the best product for themselves regardless of brand. Nordstrom was the most recent retailer to follow this example, mixing brands and prices in its new Nordstrom Men’s store location in New York this April.
  • Quirky events:Large retailers are setting up “pop-up” spaces and hosting events in-store, like concerts, to attract younger shoppers. These events are often successful because younger shoppers enjoy experiences that they can share on social media, according to WSJ. Department store Barneys New York hosted one such event, called [email protected], in cooperation with fashion blog Highsnobiety last fall, which featured limited-edition merchandise, appearances by popular designers, and customisable fashion.
  • Unconventional websites: To appeal to the association younger consumers make between fashion, music, other creative content, and commerce, retailers have begun using websites that present visitors with an immersive shopping experience. This means increased amounts of editorial content about current trends and popular designers as opposed to former websites that were mostly straightforward lists of products. Bloomingdale’s, for example, has now added curated content to its website that emphasises storytelling about the labels and products it offers in order to further engage with millennial and Gen Z customers.

Attracting millennials and Gen Zers could help retailers thrive in a difficult environment.In a time when brick-and-mortar retail is struggling unlike ever before, these two younger demographics could breathe life into in-store sales. Despite millennials’ reputation for doing everything online, they’re far more likely to make purchases offline, and they account for $US600 billion worth of consumer spending in the US, Forbes reports.

Gen Zers also prefer to shop in-store and, despite still being very young, between 7- and 22-years-old, they already account for another $US44 billion in annual spending. If retailers can successfully become part of the shopping habits of millennials and Gen Zers, they may be able to thrive as these demographics come to represent an ever larger portion of all consumer spending.

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