Georgea Kovanis / Detroit Free Press – Angela Hernandez, who is 26, works as a social media specialist and has a lifetime of shopping ahead of her, is just the sort of person retailers want in their stores this holiday season.
And to pique her interest and that of her peers, retailers — who for years catered to the older, baby boomer generation — are updating the way they do business. They’re embracing social media, stocking merchandise made by small and local companies, featuring work from independent artists, selling hip items that give back to charitable causes and trying to turn a trip to the store into a real experience, in a good way. Which impacts the way all shoppers shop, changing everything from merchandise selection to customer service.
Hernandez is a member of the millennial generation — the largest, most racially and ethnically diverse, best-educated and most tech-oriented generation in history. Millennials, who have been heavily impacted by the recession, are known for being super-informed, value-oriented shoppers who are slow to buy. And as their baby boomer parents age out of the shopping game — people buy less as they get older — and pass along their accumulated wealth, millennials are being targeted as the big spenders of the future.