Millennials’ Favorite Home Décor Store Isn’t Exactly A Home Décor Store

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Since we first asked Millennials where they were buying their furniture in 2015, their preferences have changed. See where they’re shopping now...

When Millennials were dubbed the “Ikea Generation” some 10 years ago, the label stuck for good reason. The majority of the generation was living in dorms or was fresh out of college, settling into impermanent homes. They weren’t looking to make big purchases to hold onto and haul around for the rest of their lives; they were mobile, strapped for cash, and in search of affordable, disposable furniture that paired function with simple form. Enter Ikea, young adults’ one-stop shop for grab-and-go décor. In fact, when we first started tracking Millennials’ home décor habits in 2015, the majority of the generation told us they shopped for furniture at the international mega-retailer. Only Target beat out Ikea for the lead.

But in the three years since, things have changed. Millennials are increasingly settling into more permanent living situations and are looking to furnish their homes accordingly. And that means Millennials are finally beginning to spend big on their homes: a study from Furniture Today found that Millennials have become the largest group of consumers buying furniture and bedding in the U.S. In 2014, the demographic made up 37% of the market, a huge increase compared to the 14% they represented in 2012. And from 2012 to 2014, Millennials’ share of spending on furniture and bedding more than doubled, from $11 billion to $27 billion, making them the core of many retailers’ growth strategies, according to Forbes. But beyond the amount they’re spending on home goods, where they’re spending it has also shifted as trends have changed, online shopping has boomed, and the generation looks to make bigger purchases.

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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