NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Millennial generation is expected to outspend Baby Boomers by 2017, yet retailers underestimate the size and purchasing power of this consumer, according to a new research study unveiled today by Berglass + Associates and Women’s Wear Daily. The study, “What Happens When Millennials Get the Wallet,” found that retailers do not fully understand the needs of Millennials and are employing business strategies and tactics that do not apply to this customer.
“Millennials have different motivations, attitudes and behaviors than previous generations, and retailers need to adjust their business strategies accordingly in order to thrive,” said Les Berglass, CEO of Berglass + Associates. “For the first time in several decades, we will see a new member of the C-suite, who will be responsible for driving two-way communication between the Millennial customer and the brand and for developing initiatives that will deliver long-term growth.”
The online survey, which was conducted in September 2013, queried 121 U.S. business leaders in all sectors of retail (including department stores, specialty stores, home shopping and direct-mail catalogs) primarily in the apparel, accessories, footwear and beauty sectors. Key findings unveiled in the survey include:
- Approximately half of respondents are unaware that Millennials are expected to outspend Baby Boomers annually within five years.
- Millennials rely most on their friends to make buying decisions, yet more than a quarter of respondents mistakenly believe that online advertising is the number one influencer of millennials' purchasing activity.
- Of the executives that were surveyed, more than 30% are CEO’s or Presidents, who plan to significantly increase their digital leadership over the next three years.
- 60% of respondents are not conducting any research or analysis of the Millennial customer.
- Only 36% of respondents from companies with both physical stores and e-commerce sites offer a seamless customer experience, yet Millennials expect the channels to be integrated.
Notes on Survey Methodology and Analysis
Berglass + Associates and Women’s Wear Daily conducted an online survey in September 2013 of 121 U.S. business leaders involved in the retail industry (including department stores, multi-brand specialty stores, single-brand luxury stores, mass volume, pure plays, direct-mail catalogs and home shopping) primarily in the apparel, accessories, footwear and beauty sectors to determine their readiness for the Millennial generation takeover. To receive a copy of the survey, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.317.8080.
About Berglass + Associates
Berglass+Associates is the premier executive search firm serving both the pure-play and brick-and-mortar retail universe. By combining a substantive history with a commitment to staying ahead of retail’s talent needs, they have successfully completed significant leadership placements. Its clients include Neiman Marcus, ModCloth, Avon, Coach, Restoration Hardware, Fanatics, Rue La La, Target, WarbyParker and Under Armour.
About Women’s Wear Daily
Women's Wear Daily (WWD), a Fairchild Fashion Media brand, is the media of record — and the industry’s voice of authority — for senior executives in the global fashion, retail and beauty communities and the consumer media that cover the market. FFM, a division of Condé Nast, includes WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), Style.com, FN (Footwear News), NowManifest, Beauty Inc, M and Fairchild Summits.