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NRF Consumer View Spring 2018 Edition
Consumer Trends

Millennial parents shop differently than other parents

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Millennials are increasingly embracing a new role: parenthood. The generation we’ve come to think of as the young people changing everything (or ruining it, depending on who you ask) are now in their mid-20s and mid-30s, and they’re influencing retailers with a different style of shopping than previous generations. NRF’s Director of Industry and Consumer Insights Katherine Cullen knows the data on this generation inside and out; on this episode of Retail Gets Real, she takes the data into the real world, chatting about the findings with two parents — a millennial mom and a Gen X dad — to see how it compares with their daily habits.

Millennials have been known as a “disruptive” generation, and NRF has been tracking their shopping habits for over a decade. The Spring 2018 Consumer View report focuses on millennials as parents and how their values are shaping retail today.

“I don’t really ever remember a time without technology,” says Artemis Berry, NRF’s vice president of member engagement and a millennial mom. She uses her smartphone to research products and brands, compare prices, make purchases and sometimes even to help keep her 3-year-old daughter entertained. As for David French, NRF’s senior vice president of government relations and a Gen X parent, “when my kids were young, we were using the phones as phones,” he says.

Millennials are about twice as likely to use a subscription service as other generations.

Half of children in the United States have a parent who is 37 or younger, according to the report, and 1.3 million millennials became new mothers in 2015 alone. Subscription services, which offer both convenience and the chance to discover new products and brands, are a big draw for these young parents. “[Millennials] are about twice as likely to use a subscription service as other generations,” Cullen says. For French, not so much. “What’s a subscription service?” he asks.

Listen to the episode to learn more about what sets millennial parents apart and how retailers can cater to them. For more trends about millennials, Generation Z and other consumer behavior, check out NRF’s Consumer View.


Nadee Bandaranayake is an assistant producer on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.

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