A bundle of worries for retailers

A 70 million strong group of U.S. population ages 18 – 34 known as Millennials were thought to be the next targeted pool for the retailers. This group grew up with cell phone and the web. Retailors could reach them through Twitter and Facebook.

No any other group has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn than the Millennials. Most of them are burdened by student loans. The average student loan balance of $17,000 in 1996 has risen to $23,000 in 2008 according to data available. An estimated 24 percent of the Gen Y-ers have moved in with their parents.

This is bad news for the movie industry, retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, home builders and home improvement retailors such as Home Depot and Williams-Sonoma.

They are postponing marriages and delaying raising kids causing alarm for retailers who rely on future generation for new customers.

The job prospects have also diminished with the economic downturn for Millennials. As they are hooked to the web, retailers will not be able to expect brand loyalty from them. Car makers are grappling with the notion how to woo them into their dealerships. Retailers may have to resort to discounting their products to attract them.

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