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The Future Of Beauty: The Future of Retail

By: Maura Cannon, Jennifer Marino, Yumiko Nishikawa, Denee Pearson
Posted: August 26, 2010
MPS degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at FIT

Future of Retail: Yumiko Nishikawa (Shiseido Cosmetics America), Maura Cannon (Clinique/Estée Lauder Companies), Denee Pearson (Lancome/L’Oréal USA), Jennifer Marino (MediaCom).

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As we think about the next 10 years of retail, it is time to acknowledge the days of excessive shopping have ended. We need to better communicate our brands and truly connect with our consumers. It’s time that we move retail forward and embrace change.

A perfect place to start is with the Millennial Generation, also known as Gen Y or the Echo Boomers. They are currently between the ages of 16 and 32, born between 1978 and 1994. They are the largest (83 million), most ethnically diverse and best educated consumer group in U.S. history.

More importantly, this generation is an economic powerhouse. To put this in perspective, the Millennials represent $250 billion in annual spending power and have a major influence on both the Baby Boomers and Generation X. They will eclipse the spending power of Baby Boomers by 2017. In order to successfully target this group, retailers need to understand that the game has changed and Millennials are playing by a different set of rules and motivations.

The Millennials

Let’s take a closer look at this critical generation, which has grown up in a fast-paced technological era that has changed the way they think, learn and process information.

Catch Me If U Can: A key characteristic of the Millennials is that they are impatient and get bored easily. More specifically, they hate standing in lines, do not like too much information (TMI), expect instant gratification and demand flexibility in all parts of their lives. In fact, over half say they do not like to be bothered by sales assistants when shopping in stores.