February 7 2017

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Merchandising That Responds to Generational Shifts

Retail has been experiencing a major shift in demographics over the past few years. While retail has always been about knowing your customer; in the last number of years that rule has become more critical than ever. Understanding customer preferences along socioeconomic lines is a given but factors associated with an aging population are creating a significant disparity in generational related shopping habits. These differences must be understood in order to keep retail offers focused and relevant.

Consider that 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day in the United States and the millennial population of 75.9 million just surpassed the number of baby boomers (74.4million). These changes have to be accounted for when developing retailing strategies.  To be successful retailers need to understand the differences (and similarities) between these two generations.

As is often the case, brick and mortar retailers are more restricted in how they merchandise to these variables. However, a good understanding of the basic shifts goes a long way in helping to develop effective merchandising strategies. Below is an info-graphic that compares and contrasts the shopping behavior of baby boomers with millennials.

Key Info-graphic Takeaways:

  • Differences in merchandising strategies for millennials vs. boomers
  • Breakdown of important similarities and differences
  • What type of promotional activity each generation responds to, including examples of specific categories
  • Recommendations for effectively retailing to both generations


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