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Ad Week writes about a new report suggesting that “contrary to popular assumptions about the much-coveted generation of digital natives, millennial shoppers actually like going to brick-and-mortar stores—a great deal, actually. According to research by behavioral marketing firm SmarterHQ, a whopping 50 percent of millennials not only go to physical stores, they prefer going to them as a primary means of shopping.”

The story goes on to say that “SmarterHQ’s study presents a more nuanced view of millennial shopping patterns, which, you might say, are multistage … millennials are big practitioners of ‘showrooming’:  They frequently test drive products in stores then purchase them online at home (assuming they don’t whip out their phones and buy it while standing in the store itself.)”

The conclusion is that while many retailers hate the idea of showrooming because they assume it will leave them as victims, “a retailer that takes a holistic view of revenue, one that doesn’t pit brick-and-mortar sales against online sales, can adapt to showrooming … by closing low-traffic locations and designing its e-commerce platforms to catch millennial shoppers as they exit stores with a purchase in mind.”
KC's View:
I don’t find this the least bit surprising. The nation may be over-stored, but bricks-and-mortar will survive when it is relevant and resonant. Young people may love going online, but they’ll shop in physical stores that are relevant and resonant. What matters is the degree to which traditional retailers can find ways to make their stores the kinds of experiences that these younger shoppers are looking for, and will continue to look for as they get older.