Popping Up for the Holidays: E-tailers Are Making the Leap Offline for Seasonal Shoppers

It’s a short holiday season this year, with fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than usual. With the cramped shopping season, a trip to the store is feeling pretty harried and rushed for Millennials, who are also often more comfortable buying gifts from behind a screen than then getting stampeded in a store. Cyber Monday was a huge success, following a lackluster Black Friday—perhaps further solidifying the power of the online shopper. But still, shopping offline is a part of Millennials' holiday behavior—and they still plan to get out there with their shopping bags in hand. When we asked 14-29-year-olds where they planned to do the majority of their holiday shopping, 59% told us they would be shopping mostly in-store. As a generation that truly lives with one foot in the digital world and one foot out, it’s not too surprising that they plan to buy gifts that way as well, despite cries by some that they are spending all their time clicking on shopping carts instead of pushing them. Perhaps to match up with Millennials' online/offline mentalities, several online-only stores are bridging the gap into the offline shopper’s world, and bringing their wares to city sidewalks (busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style) for the season. Here are a handful of the usually online-only brands that are (somewhat surprisingly) setting up temporary shop IRL (in real life):  

1. Amazon Sells Kindles in SF

Though Amazon is a major player in the online shopping world during the holidays—a full 91% of 14-29-year-old Millennials who planned to shop online said they would be buying gifts on Amazon— it seems dominating the shopping lists on the internet wasn’t enough this year. The massive e-tailer set up a series of pop-up shops in malls throughout San Francisco to sell their Kindle…

 
 

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“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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