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<< News >>

National News / Money

Saturday, 24 November, 2007 12:19 PM

It's a Holly, Jolly, 'Generational' Christmas: Maritz Poll Reveals Holiday Shopping Preferences Across Generations

Findings include Black Friday and Cyber Monday plans

ST. LOUIS -- Whether its braving the crowds on Black Friday, surfing the Internet for great deals on Cyber Monday or choosing a store, a recent Maritz(R) Poll reveals the holiday shopping differences of Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers and the Silent Generation and the implications for retailers as they battle for holiday spend.

Valet Parking, Anyone?

Large crowds, long lines and jammed parking lots are just a few reasons that consumers dread shopping during the holidays. Retailers can increase traffic to their stores by improving the customer experience based on their target audience's preferences.

When asked about the single most important improvement that retailers can make to create a better holiday shopping experience, nearly four in 10 respondents (38 percent) cited more sales and special holiday offers. In addition, half of respondents (49 percent) recommended that retailers add more associates for check-out and returns, and more than 20 percent (22 percent) chose training personnel to maintain a friendlier attitude towards shoppers.

What is on the list of holiday shopping enhancements for Gen X and Gen Y, in terms of the experience? Both generations were significantly more likely than other generations to prefer longer store hours (Gen X: 25 percent, Gen Y: 19 percent) and Gen Y was significantly more likely to choose valet parking (9 percent) than any other generation.

"Gen X and Gen Y are busy people who are likely juggling rising careers and young families while shopping for parents, spouses, children, extended family and friends," said Gloria Park Bartolone, vice president of Maritz Research Retail Group. "While valet parking might seem extravagant, retailers that provide time-saving services will be better able to capture the Gen X and Gen Y spend."

Hey Big Spender, Will You Shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

According to the poll, consumer buying behaviors vary by generation. Gen X on average plans to spend the most money on holiday shopping at $778, while Gen Y will spend the least at $549. Boomers and the Silent Generation will each spend on average roughly $600.

Also, retailers can expect a significant portion of Gen X's holiday spend to occur early in the season, with the group saying on average they will do more than 45 percent (46 percent) of their shopping -- more than any other generation -- on Black Friday. The Silent Generation will only do 38 percent of their shopping the day after Thanksgiving, which is less than any other generation.

When it comes to Cyber Monday, Gen X (30 percent) and Gen Y (24 percent) are significantly more likely to shop than any other generational group.

Which Retailers Will Reign?

Among a list of more than 20 stores to choose from, the consumer research study revealed the top choices among the generations:

 

Retailer
Gen Y
Gen X
Boomers
Silent Generation
Target
77%
63%
54%
34%
Wal-Mart
73%
62%
58%
60%
Best Buy
63%
41%
39%
27%
Macy's
40%
23%
19%
19%
Circuit City
37%
16%
23%
4%
K-Mart
36%
31%
23%
22%
Sears
26%
29%
20%
17%
American Eagle Outfitters
25%
14%
6%
4%
Kohl's
23%
35%
25%
23%
Radio Shack
19%
12%
9%
7%
Aeropostale
16%
11%
4%
3%
Apple Store / iTunes
14%
13%
5%
1%
Abercrombie & Fitch
14%
12%
2%
3%
Hollister
14%
8%
1%
0%

 

"Although retailers are bracing for tightened wallets this holiday season, because Gen X is planning to spend more than other generations, and the fact that Gen Y is typically a prime target because of their affinity for fashion and impulse buying, both big box stores and Macy's should be pleased to be topping their lists," said Bartolone. "Nevertheless, other mall-based stores have not fallen out of Gen Y's favor and need to do everything they can -- from the right assortments to competitive pricing -- to capture their share of wallet."

For this poll/release Gen Y (1978 to 1989) comprises ages 18-29; Gen X (1965 to 1977) comprises ages 30-42; Boomers (1946 to 1964) comprises ages 43-61; and the Silent/GI Generation (1900 to 1945) comprises ages 62 and over.

This online Maritz Poll, which was conducted Oct. 8 - 11, 2007, featured responses from 993 randomly selected adults from an Internet panel survey on topics related to holiday shopping, buying behaviors and gift-giving trends. Respondents for this market research poll were split evenly between males and females, and results were weighted to match census demographics (on age, income, race, education and children in household). Margin of error for the overall poll is +/- 3 percent.

Source: Maritz Research Inc.

 

 

 

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