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The Top 15 Retail Brands Among Gen Z & Millennials in Western Europe

With young Europeans’ looking for value and style when it comes to shopping, these 15 retailers are their favorite now…


TL;DR

  • The pandemic moved shopping online, and also made young Europeans more concerned with price and convenience 
  • While Amazon tops their list, young Europeans’ favorite retail brands are largely regional—but also offer affordability and variety
  • Retail brands that tap into young Europeans’ values are winning their loyalty

Like many (many) other things in Gen Z and Millennials’ lives, the pandemic reshaped shopping in many ways. Unsurprisingly, the biggest shift was the move to online shopping—YPulse’s WE Shopping and Retail report found that the majority of young Europeans now prefer to shop online versus in a physical store, and data from Ecommerce Europe shows that the digital retail boom hasn’t slowed yet. But online or not, young Europeans are also factoring cost and convenience into their retail shopping habits now more than ever. 75% of 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe say they usually have a budget when they go shopping, and the top reason they’re moving to online shopping is that they can do it anywhere, anytime. Meanwhile, when it comes to shopping for clothes, young Europeans don’t really care where an item is from: the vast majority agree with the statement, “I don’t care about what brand an item of clothing is, as long as I like it.”

What all of this means is that, while name brands are still hot with these consumers, they’re increasingly turning to big retailers that offer affordability, ease, and variety all in one place. YPulse’s exclusive brand tracker uses youth-specific diagnostics to measure brands’ performance among Gen Z and Millennials, and compiles all of those individual scores into YScore+, an overall measure of the affinity performance of a brand. Today, we dug into the data to determine which retail brands have the highest YPulse+ ratings among young Europeans right now. Here are their top 15:

The Top YPulse+ Retail Brands
Among 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe

  1. Amazon
  2. dm-drogerie markt
  3. IKEA
  4. Apple
  5. Mercadona
  6. REWE
  7. Rossmann
  8. E.Leclerc
  9. El Corte Inglés
  10. Edeka
  11. Decathlon
  12. Lidl
  13. B&M
  14. Lush
  15. Leroy Merlin

Let’s start with the big-picture first: while YPulse has found that most of young Europeans’ top brands are American, for their favorite retail brands, the list is heavily regional save for Amazon and Apple, which may be U.S.-based but are massive global heavy-hitters. In fact, it’s no surprise that Amazon tops this list; the retail giant has been a young consumer favorite for years now and combines many of their top shopping priorities (you can’t beat next-day delivery on nearly every product imaginable). Amazon is also the top app young Europeans are using to shop, and one of the brands with the highest YPulse+ score in Western Europe. Apple, too, has one of the highest YPulse+ scores, and is also one of the brands they consider the coolest as well as their favorite tech brand.

Dominating young Europeans’ list, though, are regional supermarkets, drugstores, and general merchandise retailers, all of which offer cost, convenience, and variety. Of course, it’s important to remember that brand tracker diagnostics are captured among young consumers who are aware of the brand, so the high performance of more “local” (country-specific) brands shows that among those who know that brand, they’re scoring especially high. Mercadona, for instance, is Spain’s largest supermarket chain and has won major brand loyalty among the 5 million Spanish households that shop its aisles by providing the highest quality at the lowest cost—which are also the promises of Germany’s supermarket chains Lidl, Edeka, and REWE, all of which are favorite retails among these gens. Rossman and dm-drogerie markt, meanwhile, are two of Germany’s top drugstore chains, the latter of which has remained a favorite by continuing to innovate and keep consumers interested. Customers can vote on what limited edition body care products they want dm to produce next, and the brand also partners with influences, including with top German YouTube influencer BibisBeautyPalace, who created a line of branded beauty products.

General merchandise retailers such as the U.K.’s B&M, France’s E.Leclerc, and Spain’s El Corte Inglés make the list, which could be considered Europe’s answer to Target and Walmart. Meanwhile, French home improvement and gardening store Leroy Merlin taps into young consumers increasing desire to beautify their homes, while U.K.-based beauty brand Lush is tapping the growing interest in skincare and beauty.

Young Europeans’ list of favorite retail brands also includes European-based global brands, including IKEA, which needs no introduction—nor do we need to explain why young consumers love it so much. Inditex, meanwhile, is the biggest fast fashion group in the world, and counts Zara among its portfolio of brands. Zara, of course, is a Gen Z and Millennial favorite, offering affordable and on-trend fashion and, more recently, home goods. The brand also recently dropped a digital collection to be worn in the metaverse, becoming the latest fashion brand to make its mark in the fast-expanding world of digital fashion. Zara is also one of young Europeans’ favorite fashion brands and one of the top mobile apps they’re using to shop—so it’s no wonder Inditex is their fourth-favorite retail brand.

YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full Brand Data Dashboard, and diagnostics on over 800 brands in Western Europe here.

Don’t have a YPulse Western Europe Business account? Find out more here.