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M is for Millennial

There’s more to this generation than meets the eye



Did you know millennials spend the most on apparel and services annually of any age group, according to a study by Pew Research Center? And yet, this is the same generation exiting college with record-high debt and few job prospects. This generation of 18- to 34-year-olds, which is poised to surpass baby boomers as the largest percentage of the U.S. population by 2015, is also known for being pickier than their parents. They crave authenticity. They’d rather consult with friends on Facebook about a purchase than the store associate standing next to them.

Think you’ve got them figured out? Well, if not, you’re not alone. But you stand among many retailers and designers who are trying their best to figure them out. And for good reason. Millennials' purchasing power is $170 billion a year.

“It’s soon going to be a Gen-Y world,” Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo of Macy’s Inc., told an audience at the Global Retailing Conference in Tucson, Ariz., this spring. The department store retailer has been focused on becoming the place of choice for this consumer. That’s no small task.

I’m looking forward to learning how Macys – among others – is trying to win over these young shoppers at this week’s IRDC Roadshow: Millennial Edition, held June 7 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

During this one-day mini conference, renowned trendspotter Marian Salzman, ceo, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, will share up-to-the-minute insights on this demographic. Design firms will take the stage to discuss millennials and technology, how parenthood impacts their purchasing behavior, and how they’re shaping the food landscape. Plus, Macy’s and Starbucks will be on hand to share their experiences courting this sought-after generation.

It’s a lot of information to pack into one day. But it’s valuable information that brands should know. I’ll report back with my findings here and in the magazine. So stay tuned.


Want more information on IRDC Roadshow? Click here.




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