retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Fascinating piece from Bloomberg about Generation X - located in between Baby Boomers and Millennials and born roughly between 1965 and 1980 - which has ended up being a generation that nobody really noticed or talked about.

But it ends up that they may be having a greater impact than expected … because they are the parents to Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and the early-2000s. And go figure, one of the things that has been a priority for them has been making sure they don’t end up like “entitled millennials.”

“To start understanding Gen Z and its direct spending power of as much as $143 billion, companies should try studying their Gen X parents first,” the story says. “While there are reams of research linking millennial behavior to their boomer influences, experts are just starting to analyze what connections exist between the previously ignored Generation X and their Generation Z offspring.”

The story goes on: “Without even realizing it, Generation Z’s viewpoints on these topics have been shaped by their Generation X parents, who came of age amid a series of crises: Watergate, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Challenger explosion, Rodney King. Often, the strife was closer to home: Divorce rates spiked in the 1970s, giving rise to neighborhoods full of tough-skinned ‘latchkey kids’ who craved security but rarely found it either at home or, as they grew up, in a more globalized, less-forgiving workplace.” And “like their parents, Gen Z has also got tougher skins than millennials. While nearly one in four millennials say they might leave their current job in the next two years because they don’t feel appreciated, only 15% of Generation Z cited that reason, a recent Deloitte survey found.”

One interesting trait in Gen Z is an antipathy to debt - they don’t like it, and will do everything they can to avoid it. In fact, the story says, “40% of those aged 18 to 22 have no debt at all, according to a separate survey conducted by pollster Morning Consult. They own fewer credit cards and are instead using debit more often, even if they have to use payment plans or rent stuff - clothes, furniture, gadgets, even car-sharing - rather than own it outright.”

Which is an Eye-Opening piece of information to have in the event you’re trying to sell them stuff.
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