Gen Z May Be A Surprising Saving Grace For Brick-and-Mortar

On the latest episode of the E-Commerce Retail Briefing podcast:

A new survey revealed that Gen Z’s worries about mental and emotional well being affects their shopping habits. An overwhelming amount of those surveyed said they preferred making purchases and discovering new products in stores. They also said turning to brick-and-mortar was a way they disconnected from the digital world.

  • Retail giant, Amazon, announced they would be rolling out Amazon PayCode in the U.S. in the coming weeks. The new checkout option will allow customers to pay for their Amazon orders at one of 15,000 Western Union locations. Instead of using their bank card, customers can choose the PayCode option to receive a QR code they can take to a Western Union location and pay for their order.
  • Sally Beauty Holdings announced they were launching a private label credit card program for Sally Beauty Supply through an agreement with Alliance Data. According to a press release, the credit card program is expected to pilot in select stores in 2020, followed by a national rollout for stores and e-commerce. Sally Beauty will be adding the credit card program to its existing Sally Beauty Rewards Loyalty Program, which has over 15 million active members.
  • Nike’s former corporate audit and chief risk officer, Michener Chandlee, is joining Fanatics as their CFO. He’s joining the Fanatics team as the company is targeting sales of more than $2.5 billion this year, up from $2.2 billion in 2018. Chandlee had been with Nike since 2001 and is well versed in the sports apparel industry. Fanatics CEO, Doug Mack, said that gives him the ideal skill set and experience to lead their finance organization as they continue to scale.
  • According to an annual holiday retail forecast, retail sales are expected to boost between 4.5% and 5% in 2019. Between November and January, holiday sales are expected to exceed $1.1 trillion. The report also notes that e-commerce sales are forecasted to grow 14% to 18% to between $144 and $149 billion over the period, up from 11.2% growth in 2018.

Gen Z’s Shopping Preferences Could Boost Brick-and-Mortar

According to a report from A.T. Kearney, Gen Z shoppers may be a surprising saving grace for brick-and-mortar stores. The report revealed that consumers between the ages of 14 and 24 prefer to do their shopping in stores. 81% of Gen Z consumers surveyed said they prefer to make purchases in stores and 73% said they like to discover new products in stores. Those surveyed revealed that the Gen Z demographic overwhelmingly looks to brick-and-mortar as a way to disconnect from the digital world.

The data uncovered that Gen Z deals with a lot of stress, with 23% saying they were stressed out or overwhelmed by the news and 22% reported being stressed by social media. Because of this, Gen Z tends to make more health and wellness related purchasing decisions than other generations. 46% of Gen Z said they were concerned about their mental health and wellbeing compared to 38% of millennials. The report sheds light on the first full generation of digital natives and the importance of the experience retailers provide both online and offline.