Consumer Insights

Gen Z, Millennials Favor Physical Stores More Than The Rest of Us

Good news for physical retailers: A new survey from Cowen Equity Research finds Gen Z and millennial consumers shop more at physical stores than the rest of the population.

TheStreet, citing Cowen’s research, reported that the two generations, which are expected to become big spenders, are choosing to shop at physical stores more than the general population, particularly when retailers are hawking Nike, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. The research found that the majority of adults aged 18 to 35 74 percent —  have shopped in a physical store during the past month. Of those aged 25 to 34, 77 percent have visited a physical store during the last 30 days, which compares to 72 percent of the general population. The survey further found that Gen Z and millennial consumers have shopped at a department store, outlet or discount retailer during the past 30 days more than the rest of the population.

According to TheStreet, the Cowen team wrote, “While we expect retail traffic to trend lower at a low-to-mid-single-digit percentage rate [year over year], younger demographics value physical retail more highly than older demographics.” The majority of survey respondents cited price when choosing where to shop, with more survey respondents that fall in the Gen Z category viewing affordability as the biggest factor.

When it comes to brands, survey respondents pointed to Nike as the winner in sportswear, with close to half of all Gen Z respondents favoring Nike over Adidas and other sports brands. Calvin Klein and H&M were also favorites among Gen Z consumers. Amazon, however, took the number one position as a favorite for both generations.

“Our survey indicated Amazon was the clear preferred shopping destination for all verticals,” Cowen wrote, noting that it’s a favorite with 90 percent of consumers between ages 18 and 54, with 82 percent of those 55 and older. Cowen found that about 32 percent of Gen Z and millennials said they start their search at Amazon for new apparel.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.