Young shoppers love stores but not malls.
The Cassandra Report, an ongoing study of emerging trends, generational insights, and youth behaviors, has released its annual Cassandra Report: SHOP study this week — offering a handful of data-backed new insights into how teens and twentysomethings like to shop.
Emily Anatole, Cassandra’s associate insights director, told JCK that one of the biggest revelations from the fresh findings was that young consumers aren’t just looking for brands and experiences that are visually cool—an assumption many retailers make in the age of slick Instagram photos.
They’re also “craving shopping experiences that provide them with a sense of community,” she says. “Today’s youth don’t just turn to brands to browse and buy, but rather, they look for brands to create togetherness.”
Which is positive news for brick-and-mortar stores. “Youth regard brands as facilitators, platforms, and places to connect with like-minded people,” Anatole says. ”As a result, many of the retailers resonating today—and leading the way for tomorrow—are those with brick-and-mortar stores that function much like community centers or hubs for social engagement.”
Among the retailers Anatole cites as connecting with young consumers through brick-and-mortar locations are activewear brand Kit and Ace, which hosts supper clubs in its stores, and Hub Seventeen, Lululemon’s first designated community space/store in New York City’s Flatiron District. ”The venue regularly hosts not only yoga and fitness workshops, but also arts and lifestyle programming, including the Gathering, a monthly dinner series featuring local chefs and restaurants,” she says.