Part 2 of 2 (if you’ve missed part 1, check it out)
The question that remains is how are brick and mortar retailers competing with second hand stores for the all-important Generation Z buck? The answer is a simple one.
If you cannot beat them, then join them.
For example, fashion retailer Neiman Marcus has launched a few experimental in store showrooms that provide consumers with the ability to purchase high-end used clothing and accessories.
That way, Gen Z consumers can shop for deals, help the eco-friendly initiative, and support sustainability in an environment that can also support the implementation of cutting edge technology and customization.
Most if not all secondhand store organizations are either too small, or simply cannot afford to support the implementation of cutting edge technology and customization of products.
Neiman Marcus has another good reason to attract Gen Z buyers by offering them a used clothing and accessories section within their retail stores.
In essence, the goal is to attract the next generation to purchase used higher end products so they will become familiar and accustomed to them. That way, when Gen Z members are older and earning more money they will purchase new luxury products from the stores.
It certainly goes without saying that Gen Z still loves to shop online. They have zero fear of it because they grew up with it, unlike older generations. However, Gen Z consumers still enjoy browsing for products at brick and mortar locations.
They enjoy it even more than the Millennials who originally turned to online shopping for the convenience factor. With Gen Z it is just the opposite. Taking the time to physically shop in a store takes their mind of things. They consider it a stress reducer. In essence, brick and mortar stores provide a new type of retail therapy.
In fact, 58% of Gen Z shoppers say that browsing shelves and clothing racks gives them the opportunity to disconnect from the real world.
It also gets them physically and emotionally closer to the online influencers and celebrities that they follow. This holds particularly true in the health and wellness category. Generation Z is particularly stressed out, so they turn to health and wellness products more than any other generation.
Generation Z’s shopping habits have turned them into even more traditional shoppers than Millennials. The bottom line is that they do not see online shopping and offline shopping as two different activities. They like to combine the digital world and the physical world in order to create a vastly improved overall shopping experience.
Over the past few years, Millennials and the generations that came before them were responsible for killing off the concept of malls. Generation Z shoppers are now flocking to the mall, and they are brining their millennial parents back with them.
This is due to the fact that most Gen Z members are getting their drivers license later in life than previous generations. That means they count on their parents to drive them to the mall.
It is an interesting cycle to say the least. Millennials are now making the effort and taking the time to travel to brick and mortar stores because their children need rides. This has a major and positive impact on brick and mortar retailers. Since the Millennials are already physically at the stores, they might as well stay and shop themselves.
In conclusion, although the world may still be adjusting to the evolving shopping habits of Millennials, Generation Z is now coming into their own as a powerful purchasing force. Brick and mortar retailers must attract this younger generation by providing them with an experience that is engaging and goes well beyond simply making a sale. The bottom line is that physical stores need to embrace this change if they want to thrive let alone survive.
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