Millennials, consumers born between the 1980’s and early 2000s, are the fastest growing demographic in the United States and they have the most buying power. There are about 80 million Millennials in the United States, outnumbering the Baby Boomers. Macy’s is committed to wooing the Millennial by trying to be there for “every major milestone in their lives.” This includes graduations, interview preparation, bridal registry and baby registry. Macy’s is also launching 13 new fashion lines and repositioning 11 other private label lines to appeal to the unique tastes of the Millennials. Macy’s believes that targeting this group now will cultivate loyal relationships as the demographic ages. Macy’s is ahead of its peer group of other department stores in reaching these consumers. Macy’s does not speak to all Millennials the same way, recognizing that those in their 20’s have different needs than those in their teens. Macy’s research has found that Millennials who are older have different parenting and home ownership styles than their parents did.
Some of the ways that Macy’s is targeting the Millennials includes merchandising strategies. For example, it now showcases furniture to fit homes that are only 650 square feet. Macy’s launched the Marilyn Monroe brand to appeal to Millennials ages 13-22. Bar III merchandise sells well in apparel and fashion and is now making an appearance in home goods. Macy’s also communicates with Millennials through non-traditional forms of advertising. Macy’s communicates through social media, especially Facebook. Macy’s also uses product placement to reach Millennials. For example, in the TV show, “Pretty Little Liars,” characters wore numerous Macy’s private label brand outfits. Macy’s also partnered with fashion magazines like Glamour and Vogue to host private back-to-school shopping events.
Macy’s believes that capturing the Millennials involves establishing brand value, and this means capturing both the functional and emotional needs of the consumer. Macy’s also believes that winning the Millennials will allow them to win with other demographics as well, as Millennials are the tastemakers and trendsetters for their parents and grandparents.
1. What is Macy’s doing to appeal to the Millennial Market?
2. Do you think it is working? Does this strategy appeal to you?
SOURCE: Sandy Smith, Store Magazine, October 2013