GenZs shopped more often at US retailers during the holiday season despite rising costs and growing inflation.
Experts estimate that the majority of the population in the nation is made up of GenZs, those born between 1997 and 2012. According to Cowen Equity Research, millennials and Generation Z will make up 70% of the population by 2028. So the sheer volume of Gen Zers visiting malls during the holiday, according to analyst Kristen Classi-Zummo, astonished her.
“One standout this Black Friday was the high turnout of Gen Z in stores. Younger consumers flooded the mall, treating Black Friday as a social event. They came early, they came with friends, and they came to shop,” said Classi-Zummo.
“Over Black Friday weekend, we saw shoppers of all ages but certainly saw a strong showing from a youthful crowd, and some of our strongest anecdotal sales reports came from top Gen Z brands and fashion department stores,” said Joe Coradino, CEO of PREIT, a mall operator.
According to the National Retail Federation, 123 million individuals visited retailers on Black Friday. As a result, retail sales surged due to the large number of customers who entered businesses. This year’s Christmas sales exceeded those of previous years as a consequence.
“For Gen Z, it wasn’t just about shopping. It was about hanging out and having fun together as a group,” added Classi-Zummo.
GenZs look for the brand, not the price
Analysts claim that Gen Z customers want to purchase brand-specific apparel and accessories. Additionally, they said that TikTok and other social media platforms control which businesses are ‘in the present’ of pop culture. Therefore, GenZs will buy a product even if it costs a lot as long as the brand is well-known.
“Promotions aren’t the draw for these shoppers. Instead, one in three shoppers aged 18 to 24 looks at social media first to do their shopping research,” added Classi Zummo.
“At the same time, this generation is also open to finding inspiration in other channels, including browsing in stores. And we saw that over Black Friday. So they will get the must-haves on their wish list, regardless of price, and maybe put back the nice-to-have items.”
“Mostly beauty items and electronics. Their top retailers were Best Buy, Sephora, Ulta and TJ Maxx. Gen Z and their spending, by and large, are all discretionary. They aren’t burdened as much by bills, so they’re not thinking as much about inflation and prices,” said Brian Mandelbaum, CEO of a consumer data company.
High sales in the holidays
Before the Christmas season began, a lot of businesses and organizations projected that Black Friday would experience a rise in sales. They were right in their prognosis, too. Black Friday sales are estimated to have exceeded 2021’s sluggish pace by $9.12 billion.
“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
“We are optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the weeks ahead, and retailers are ready to meet consumers however they want to shop with great products at prices they want to pay,” he added.
Photo Credit: Jamie Kelter Davis
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