Just like baby boomers and gen-Xers before them, millennials are being analyzed for their lifestyle, shopping habits, and overall decision-making. A look at industry trends reveals that they are impacting bottom lines in a pessimistic way. In short: they are the executioner.
While businesses have been spending loads on marketing campaigns to win this group over, they’re simply not feeling certain things. Not at all. Not anymore. Not as much. That means companies like Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb edge out “old school” options like DVDs, cars, and hotels.
On top of that, social norms are also shifting. Funny headlines announce that millennials are murdering friendships too. What’s that about?
Analysts and marketing experts are wasting no time in compiling lists of industries, routines, and traditions that are not benefiting from millennial tastes.
Here’s a list of things that have met their demise or are on life support (with no hope) thanks to this generation’s preferences.
I’m actually on board with this one. Ridiculously high prices for cable service are driving more people to cut the cord in favor of streaming services or an old-fashioned antenna. You can’t fool us with your temporary, conditional bundled rates anymore, cable giants.
Liquid Fabric Softener
This one was worthy of a 2016 Wall Street Journal article that highlighted Procter & Gamble’s struggles. Sales dropped 15% and experts say it’s because millennials want less chemicals in their lives or simply don’t see the point of the liquid stuff.
Church attendance has fallen and some attribute it to a lack of interest in organized religion. Studies show that nearly 60% of millennials who grew up going to church have stopped and 30% just aren’t interested. Some believe it’s due to a generational disconnect between the clergy and modern times.
Sorry Golf, but millennials are just not that into you. The length of a game, the cost of playing, rules, and exclusivity vibes of a country club aren’t that appealing.
Why go to a physical branch when you can do everything online or with an app? Visits to bank branches are down while mobile banking is all the way up. Those who have cash prefer to use it digitally, and that means the need for a brick-and-mortar building in your area isn’t a need at all.
This shouldn’t be a surprise but real estate experts lament that this crowd isn’t buying. They’re waiting due to debt and lifestyle needs. With housing options like rentals, tiny homes, or mom and dad’s, it’s not a shocker that they want to save money and buy big when they’re ready.
And Therefore, Home Improvement Stores
Big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot don’t have much to offer this generation if they aren’t buying houses to maintain.
Stores like Macy’s, JC Penney, and Nordstrom’s were once retail behemoths, but this cost-conscious group favors online shopping, secondhand stores, and discount chains. More TJ Maxx and less mall browsing.
We’re sure you’ve heard about Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, and Hooters experiencing lower sales. Some locations are even shutting down because they’re not attractive to this group. Instead, cooking at home and fast-casual spots are cooler and cheaper choices.
We don’t know how or why this one made it on the list, but apparently it has something to do with paper towels being more versatile. And that’s if you see a paper product on the table at all. Go figure.
It’s true that car purchases are down for millennials due to debt. But with options like Uber, public transportation, rentals, or car-sharing, they can still get around.
The Traditional Workweek
While plenty of 9-5 options abound, flexible work schedules are slowly becoming the new norm. Telecommuting, remote jobs, and non-traditional setups like contract work are not only appealing, but keeping millennials afloat financially.
Marriage & Relationships
Not only is this generation waiting longer to get hitched, but they’re changing dating norms. Things like dinner dates and courtship rituals are being replaced with texting, casual hangouts, and online dating. Relationships can be shorter or heavy on technology.
No longer viewed as a girl’s expensive best friend, diamonds are being sent to the back of the line in favor of ethically-sourced jewelry, lovely-looking substitutes, or nothing at all. Diamonds are expensive and not all millennials trust the big brands in terms of sustainability.
Viewed as germy, suspect, and inconvenient, bar soap isn’t getting bought up as much as liquid versions. And, there was a survey done to back this up.
There’s a panic going on somewhere because it’s been said that this generation is shunning cereal. And yogurt. What’s the deal? It’s not portable and it’s too sugary for the morning. And yes, dismal sales of your childhood favorite are a real thing.
Though they’ve got a thing for craft beer, sales of beer are dropping thanks to this bunch. They drink less alcohol and when they do, it tends to be wine. On another note, there are some signs that point to a preference for “Mary Jane” over beer too.
Google “Millennials and Murder” and you’ll find memes and legit articles on all the things that are taking a hit. Blame it on low funds, tech, or attitudes, but needs and wants are changing!
In defense of millennials, living through a jacked up economy has straddled them with things like with low-paying gigs, student loan debt, and health insurance costs. Being wise and frugal on how they spend their dollars isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Are you a part of this generation? What have you looked forward to saying goodbye to? Which of the things on the list hit home?