Retail trends for Gen-Y

The battle for Generation-Y consumers will determine the future fortunes of Australian retailers, according to a new study by commercial property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

The report, titled Y-topia – Capturing Retailers’ Paradise, predicts Generation-Y will hold the largest share of the consumer market by 2015.

Gen-Y represents 26% of the adult population and will become the key retail segment due to its size and spending power. These 20-somethings have only known economic expansion so far, and are set to benefit from the accumulated wealth of their baby boomer parents.

The report says Gen-Y, broadly thought of as the band of maturing adults born in the 1980s, is defined by a focus on lifestyle, use of savvy technology and fast changing tastes.

They expect a lot more from the shopping experience according to Matthew Khoo, a JLL retail consultant and co-author of the study.

“Traditional brands and dated shopping centres that are struggling to capture the attention of Generation Y have to realize that they need a fresh approach to their thinking,” said Khoo.

Strategies to capture Gen-Y include;

  • Greater emphasis on men’s fashion – more outlets with cutting edge brands.
  • Mix social space with commercial – cafes, meet-up points, wide entertainment options.
  • Extended trading hours to cater for time poor Gen-Y.
  • Unusual products to capture fickle attention – evolving, quirky, and innovative.
  • Try pop-up shops that appear, draw crowds then disappear, known as “guerilla boutiques”.
  • Targeted and personal marketing that utilises the technology gadgets of Gen-Y.


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