The holiday season showed a massive increase in GenZs purchasing across US shops, despite rising costs and increased inflation.
According to analysts, the GenZs, born between 1997 and 2012, make up a sizable share of the country’s population. Cowen Equity Research predicted that by 2028, Generation Z and Millenials would account for 70% of the country’s population. But, according to Kristen Classi-Zummo, an expert, the quantity of GenZs inside malls during the holiday surprised her.
“One standout this Black Friday was the high turnout of Gen Z in stores. Younger consumers flooded the mall, treating Black Friday as a social event. They came early, they came with friends, and they came to shop,” said Classi-Zummo.
“Over Black Friday weekend, we saw shoppers of all ages but certainly saw a strong showing from a youthful crowd, and some of our strongest anecdotal sales reports came from top Gen Z brands and fashion department stores,” said Joe Coradino, CEO of PREIT, a mall operator.
According to the National Retail Federation, around 123 million consumers visited retailers on Black Friday. Consumers’ strong turnout inside commercial facilities resulted in more outstanding retail sales. As a consequence, Christmas sales this year surpassed those of previous years.
“For Gen Z, it wasn’t just about shopping. It was about hanging out and having fun together as a group,” added Classi-Zummo.
Brand matters for GenZs
According to researchers, GenZs want to buy brand apparel and accessories. They also stated that social media platforms such as TikTok determine which businesses are “in the moment” of pop culture. So, regardless matter how much a product costs, GenZs will buy it if the brand is well-known.
“Promotions aren’t the draw for these shoppers. Instead, one in three shoppers aged 18 to 24 looks at social media first to do their shopping research,” added Classi Zummo.
“At the same time, this generation is also open to finding inspiration in other channels, including browsing in stores. And we saw that over Black Friday. So they will get the must-haves on their wish list, regardless of price, and maybe put back the nice-to-have items.”
“Mostly beauty items and electronics. Their top retailers were Best Buy, Sephora, Ulta and TJ Maxx. Gen Z and their spending, by and large, are all discretionary. They aren’t burdened as much by bills, so they’re not thinking as much about inflation and prices,” said Brian Mandelbaum, CEO of a consumer data company.
A spike in holiday sales
Many businesses and organizations projected that Black Friday would experience a surge in sales before the holidays began. And their forecast came true. According to estimates, Black Friday sales were $9.12 billion, surpassing the modest pace of 2021.
“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
“We are optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the weeks ahead, and retailers are ready to meet consumers however they want to shop with great products at prices they want to pay,” he added.