Generation Z is making in-store shopping fashionable again

28 February 2019 - 15:38 By AFP Relaxnews
Will the mall make a comeback thanks to Gen Z?
Will the mall make a comeback thanks to Gen Z?
Image: iStock / Drazen Lovric

Millennials might be the generation that prefers experiences to possessions, but according to a new survey, their Generation Z successors love nothing more than good old-fashioned shopping. 

According to a recent LIM College survey, Generation Z consumers prefer bricks-and-mortar shopping to online browsing. They are also bigger spenders when it comes to fashion, with 40% of those surveyed saying they would choose to spend a $1,000 gift certificate on apparel and accessories, compared to 23% of Millennials. Additionally, almost 60% of Generation Z respondents claimed to update their wardrobe monthly or less frequently, compared to 44% of Millennial respondents.

"Gen Z seems to be more drawn to 'things' than the Millennials are and they are keen to buy apparel and fashion accessories for themselves," said Professor Robert Conrad, one of the faculty members at the Manhattan-based LIM College, who conducted the survey alongside Dr. Kenneth M. Kambara. "This bodes well for the fashion industry."

Professor Conrad cited several potential reasons for the Generation Z preference for bricks and mortar stores, saying: "The younger members of Gen Z may not have credit cards to purchase online. They also want instant gratification. Yet the main reason is that they enjoy visiting the malls, seeing people, socialising and being with their friends."

The trend could have a major impact on the retail industry, which has evolved over recent years to match the demands of experience-driven Millennials. The fashion and beauty landscape has transformed into a particularly immersive retail category, with labels such as Covergirl, L'Occitane en Provence, Nordstrom and Selfridges doubling down on widening the experiences available to in-store clients.

However, the report - which surveyed 450 people aged 15 to 38 - found that Millennials and Generation Z have more similarities than differences: shopping apart, the two demographics share similar values and preferred modes of communication.