On Monday, the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting piece by Ellen Byron on how 26-year-olds are now the single biggest age cohort in the United States at 4.8 million strong, and how they’re natural customers for hardware and home good retailers such as Home Depot because they’re at the age where young people start, complete, or are in the middle of the transition to adulthood.
But stores are finding that this business opportunity comes with a challenge that shouldn’t be all that surprising: lots of today’s millennials are absolutely clueless when it comes to the ways of being an adult.
This generation, with its over-scheduled childhoods, tech-dependent lifestyles and delayed adulthood, is radically different from previous ones. They’re so different, in fact, that companies are developing new products, overhauling marketing and launching educational programs—all with the goal of luring the archetypal 26-year-old […]
Lawn-mower engine maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. built a professional studio inside its Milwaukee office last year to make how-to videos. Power-tool maker Andreas Stihl AG calls these new consumers “Willie Wannabes,” compared to their elders, who are “Eddie Experts” […]
Home Depot executives want to establish stores as an education center so young adults can learn household maintenance for themselves. Snagging a new homeowner’s first purchases, says Ted Decker, Home Depot executive vice president of merchandising, helps drive return trips and represents potentially “thousands and thousands of dollars” in lifetime sales.
The company credited home purchases by young adults as a factor in its 9.5% rise in net income in its most recent quarter and raised its sales and profit expectations for the rest of the year.
In June the company introduced a series of online workshops, including videos on how to use a tape measure and how to hide cords, that were so basic some executives worried they were condescending. “You have to start somewhere,” Mr. Decker says.
Lisa DeStefano, Home Depot vice president of marketing, initially hesitated looking over the list of proposed video lessons, chosen based on high-frequency online search queries. “Were we selling people short? Were these just too obvious?” she says she asked her team. On the tape-measure tutorial, “I said ‘come on, how many things can you say about it?’ ” Ms. DeStefano says.
How to use a tape measure? Seriously? Read the whole thing for quite a few more examples that will make you question your faith in humanity.
Again, none of this should surprise us all that much. From college kids who think they should never have to pay back their student loans to bipartisan demands that insurance companies be forced to include 26-year-old “children” on their parents’ health plans, we have been delaying adulthood for a long time. Independence and personal responsibility simply aren’t as valued or demanded anymore in our culture.
The good news is that life has a knack for forcing people to shape up sooner or later or suffer the consequences…but the bad news is that in every sector of the country, the Left is working nonstop to render those consequences toothless. Even more alarming? These unprepared snowflakes are going to be the future of the electorate.
What do you think this story signifies for America’s future? Let us know in the comments.
H/T Zero Hedge