Shoppers between the ages of 18-34 represent the largest percentage of Americans who do not have enough money to cover their basic needs, according to a report by WSL/Strategic Retail.
Nearly a quarter of millennials said that they are unable to make ends meet, compared to 17 percent of adults ages 35-54 and 13 percent of those over age 55.
The majority of young adults value low pricing as the number one concern when shopping. Eighty percent of millennials think that it's important to get the lowest price when shopping, up 10 percent from a survey in 2010. Sixty percent will choose a lower-priced brand if they can save money and more than half search for online discounts before shopping.
"This decline in Millennial spending power presents a significant challenge to brands and retailers who have long considered young adults to be the 'golden ticket' to sales growth,” Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL/Strategic Retail, said in a statement. “Businesses must begin rethinking their strategy to lure these shoppers to buy. At the same time, they must reevaluate the power of this generation to support new brands and stores."
The economic recession, which hit Generation Y particularly hard, directly relates to this conservative spending. Today’s young adults face the burden of student loans mixed with poor job prospects.
“I’ve noticed that couples who are coming in for engagement rings are older than they once were. People are delaying marriage into their 30s,” says Lynne Davis, employee of Andrew Grant Diamond Center in Westfield, Mass. “We want to show younger shoppers that rings can be affordable, which is why we advertise financial plans, dividing the cost into monthly payments."
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