retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The next generation of shoppers may be considerably smaller than the last one.

Axiosreports that "there are 1.1 million fewer children living in the U.S. today than at the start of the last decade … Even after a numerical decline in the 1970s, children still made up 28% of the total 1980 population. In 2019, kids only made up 22% of the total population."

The story goes on: "While the child population decreased, the adult population grew by 8.8% in the 2010s, according to an analysis of Census data by Brookings’ William Frey. The child population had grown the previous three decades."

Axios says that the states with the largest share of their populations under 18 ate Utah, Texas, Idaho, Nebraska, and Alaska, while those with the
smallest share of their populations under 18 are Washington, DC, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Frey tells Axios, "This isn't the first decade of child population decline. But it ushers in a period when adult growth will continue to dwarf child growth as the population ages and proportionately fewer women are in their childbearing ages."

Which means that retailers will have some adjusting to do … it already has been established that young people are getting married later, having fewer children, moving to more urban environments (or suburban settings designed to mimic urban neighborhoods), living in smaller homes with less storage space and maybe not even owning their own cars … raising questions about the long-term viability of stores designed to cater to a very different core demographic.

These Eye-Opening stats suggest that certain categories - like baby diapers - may be less robust in the near future than others - like adult diapers.
KC's View: