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Younger consumers are using technology to find brick-and-mortar deals

2 minute read

In-store shopping isn’t dead yet. Not if millennials have anything to do with it.

Almost half — 55 percent — of twentysomethings plan to shop in-store this holiday season, more than any other age group, according to a survey.

The same group of millennials are most likely to believe that the best deals come during the Thanksgiving shopping holiday, with 64 percent thinking the best deals come over the four-day weekend. Older groups are more skeptical.

“Twentysomethings are savvy, using technology to find the best deals, and knowing not every great deal is online,” says savings expert Jeanette Pavini. “Understanding how consumers view key shopping seasons helps serve more relevant coupons at the right time.”

While more than half of millennials are planning to shop in person, other age groups will be heading out for weekend shopping as well, just in smaller groups: 47 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds and 48 percent of 45- to 59-year-olds will be hitting brick-and-mortar stores.

Online shopping isn’t out of the question, though. About one-third of 45- to 59-year-olds will be browsing on their computers, while 20 percent of twentysomethings and 22 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds will be shopping on their phones. Twentysomethings will shop both: 18 percent will be on their phones while 20 percent will be on computers.

While twentysomethings might bet a lot on Black Friday and the rest of the shopping weekend, there’s a lot of Americans that have been doing holiday shopping for months. Nearly half of consumers started long before Thanksgiving. In fact, Cyber Monday is when many shoppers are wrapping up their holiday buying. To think, there was a time when it was the beginning…

But the big finale of holiday shopping doesn’t come without a cost. The National Retail Federation expects younger adults, those 18-24 years old, will increase their spending this year, with 46 percent saying they’re going to shell out more cash.

“As Gen Z and millennials get older, their purchasing power increases and the rise in disposable income is sure to be seen by retailers,” says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “This group of consumers has spent time carefully researching gifts for friends, family and themselves, and are ready to begin knocking out their shopping lists.”

Most consumers — or 54 percent — think they will spend about as much as they did last year, but younger adults will be upping their spending more than any other age group this year. In all age groups, 24 percent of consumers expect to spend more or nearly half of young adults alone.

NRF, in line with other trends this season, says clothes will be the biggest buy. They suspect it’ll be 61 percent of all purchases this year. Gift cards will also top lists, with 59 percent. Entertainment like books, movies, and video games is expected to be 44 percent of gifts. Toys are at 41 percent, while candy is up to 34 percent — a 3 percent increase from last year.

The NRF survey also found that consumers aren’t just open to spending money at stores this year, but also donating to charities. The survey says 38 percent of consumers plan to donate money, while 37 percent are looking to give items, including meals. Of the Americans that said they are donating, 80 percent say it won’t impact their holiday spending.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South.Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and

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