NEW DATA: How Bridge Millennials Are Upending The $400 Billion Apparel And Accessories Market

Americans spend $400 billion on apparel and accessories annually. That may be a lot of cash, but it’s actually less than they have spent in a long time. This lower figure, plus the drive to digitize the market, is making the clothing industry increasingly competitive, with retailers clamoring to attract and maintain shoppers’ loyalty.

For many of these retailers, boosting bottom lines means creating unique and memorable shopping experiences for their customers — especially for younger customers. And it’s easy to see why, as they are inheriting and embracing the apparel market.

The retail torch is being passed to a small cross-section of consumers, where Generation X meets the millennial generation, known as the bridge millennials. Dubbed the “Amazon generation,” bridge millennials are between 30 and 40 years of age, just reaching the prime of their lives as consumers. They are an experimental bunch, with 30 percent of them having tried a new merchant in the past month.

The experimental bridge millennials, widely-moneyed and highly predisposed to new shopping experiences, are every retailer’s dream.

And that dream is changing. Consumers from Generation X, millennials and bridge millennials want more from their favorite stores than just clothes — they want experiences. Better yet, meaningful experiences. And top apparel retailers are doing their best to provide it to them, inventing new and interesting ways to engage with consumers, both online and in stores.

But there is more to this story than just a generation gap. Digital shopping is changing the game for everyone — even for baby boomers.

Some notable revelations about the apparel and accessories sector in our study included:

  • Millennials, on average, make 19.3 purchases every year
  • 25 percent of bridge millennials that buy online prefer Amazon
  • 50 percent of consumers prefer omnichannel shopping experiences

The PYMNTS Connected Consumer Report collected the latest data on 2,500 American consumers, surveying them on their shopping experiences at the 250 largest U.S. retailers and what retailers really need to get consumers’ attention.

To find out more, explore the findings of our latest report here.

About the Report

Connected Consumer delves deep into the shopping experiences of modern apparel and accessory consumers of all ages, providing a detailed account of how their favorite shops are adapting to an evolving commercial landscape. It seeks to understand whether these retailers are making the most of their commercial channels, and if and how they are preparing for the future.