Local News

Retailers Get Wise to Generation Y's Shopping Habits

Posted December 16, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Holiday sales are up across the country about 7 percent over this time last year. The booming economy is getting a boost from "Generation Y," young shoppers who seem to have money to burn.

They have jobs and parents who can afford to give them money, and they know just how to spend it.

Young people who like to shop and are loyal to stores and brands are part of retail economy's hottest trend.

"Adults will check around more for the prices, but if a kid sees it, they're just going to buy it," says Lisa Woller, 15.

Woller is like many young people between the ages of 10 and 24. They are the boomers' babies and like their parents, they have the numbers to be very influential.

Stock analyst Jeff Klinefelter advises clients to invest in retailers the kids like, for example Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, the Gap, and a chain called Pacific Sunwear.

These kids love the mall. On average, they spend about $20 per visit, and do they ever visit.

"The key is the frequency. They go back and make 56 trips a year to the mall on average. So you're bringing $20 to the mall, but you're doing that 56 times," Klinefelter says.

The Generation Ys are wise to online shopping, too, accounting for 16 percent of all electronic purchases, about $150 million worth.