Forget older shoppers – when it comes to the target audience retailers have set their sights on, it’s the 26-year-old millennials.
According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, there are 4.8 million 26-year-olds in the U.S., making it an attractive group to pursue. According to Torsten Slok, chief international economist for Deutsche Bank, people aged 25, 27 and 24 are close behind in terms of the sheer number of them. With a lot of them about to take the next step in their adult lives, whether it’s choosing a career, purchasing their first home or having children, retail stores and brands want to be the ones they choose when spending their money.
But according to the report, it hasn’t always been easy for the companies courting this group of Americans who grew up with hectic after-school schedules, a big reliance on technology and delay in becoming adults. Those characteristics make them completely different than the generations before them, forcing companies to develop new products, rethink their marketing strategies and offer educational programs that will capture the interest of 26-year-olds – which comprise the largest single age group of the millennial demographic.
Scotts Miracle-Gro is one example. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jim King, senior vice president of corporate affairs, said the company began offering gardening lessons to young homeowners with basic steps to having a green and healthy garden. “These are simple things we wouldn’t have really thought to do or needed to do 15 to 20 years ago,” said King in the interview. “But this is a group who may not have grown up putting their hands in the dirt growing their vegetable garden in Mom and Dad’s backyard.”
But it’s not just Scotts that is courting the age group by holding classes and online tutorials to teach them skills like mowing the lawn, using a tape measure, mopping the floor and even hammering a nail. Other companies getting in on the game include Home Depot, Procter & Gamble, Williams-Sonoma, West Elm and the Sherwin-Williams Company, reported the Journal.