Survey: Young Consumers Still Favor Brick-and-Mortar Stores

More than 68 percent of 18–25-year-olds prefer to shop in stores rather than online for apparel and shoes, according to a new survey by a group of LIM College students in conjunction with the National Retail Federation Student Association.

“Retail observers have been significantly overestimating our use of online and digital technology for shopping,” said Nicole Flasch-Mihalko, a member of the LIM College NRFSA team, in a statement. “We like shopping in stores and are not as engaged in shopping on the Internet as many have touted. I guess the demise of the brick and mortar format of retailing—at least for 18-25 year-olds—is grossly exaggerated.”

Olivia Cornell from Cornell’s Jewelers in Rochester, N.Y., tells JCK that younger customers want to come in and try on jewelry. “I see a lot of young women shopping for special occasions like graduations, a new job, or a promotion,” she says. “Girls nowadays are much more sophisticated. They have a handle on their own style.”

“We are finding more younger people looking at engagement rings,” says Sharran Selig from Bill Selig Jewelers in Windsor, Conn. “Our customers typically look online, but generally want to come in and see the jewelry in person.”

Other findings include:

  • Sixty-six percent of 18­–25-year-olds use the Web to browse and compare prices.
  • Only 23 percent shop from a tablet or a smartphone.
  • Sixty-six percent like to think about their purchase before buying.
  • Fifty-six percent pay for most of their purchases via debit cards as opposed to cash or credit cards.
  • Only 20 percent shop from flash sale sites such as Rue La La and Gilt Groupe. In fact, the majority of those surveyed do not know about them.
  • Many 18­–25-year-olds said they would “like” a brand on Facebook, but more than 88 percent do not yet want to shop through Facebook or Twitter.
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