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Boomers To Gen Z: The Top Retailers By Generation for Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shopping

Nov 23, 2021 | Audience Intelligence, Consumers, Persona Creation

Black Friday (and Cyber Monday!) is around the corner, and despite the on-going supply-chain issues and the pandemic, experts are predicting it’ll be a big one, especially when it comes to online shopping. And while there’s never much doubt around huge spikes in shopping during Black Friday, have you ever contemplated how it varies by generation?

Last week, we kicked off the holiday season with an analysis on the audiences that follow certain celebrity chefs and food publications. But as we all know, once we’re done stuffing our faces on Thanksgiving, it’s officially time to start emptying our wallets. So we dug into our social audience insights platform, Silhouette™ to understand exactly where each generation will treat themselves this Black Friday, broken down by category.

1. Toys
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Who else remembers when Furby and Tickle Me Elmos were the hottest toy commodity for Christmas? This millennial does. And while online shopping has tempered the Jingle All The Way mad dash to the store, the race to claim the top holiday toys before they sell out is still a thing today. Below are the most sought after toys for each generation:

GenZ

  • Barbie: These timeless and ever evolving dolls still resonate with the youngest adult population. Barbie is versatile enough to be a gift for the children in their lives or even a personal collectible.

Millennials

  • Legos: Turns out millennials are still nostalgic for the little building blocks they grew up with, and are passing on the affinity to the children in their lives.

GenX

  • Mcfarlane Toys: Founded by comic book creator Todd Mcfarlane, these are figurines of all the major comic book and video game series.

Baby Boomers

  • Mookie Toys: The major retailer hailing from the UK is popular with grandparents looking for outdoor and actively engaging toys.

2. Cosmetics
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It’s always interesting (and often surprising!) to explore which beauty lines the different generations flock to. The one common element seems to be that each generation likes to strike a balance between trendsetting and timeless.

GenZ

  • Lush & MAC: The common thread between these two brands? They’re high quality, bold, and sure to make an impression.

Millennials

  • NYX & Essie: NYX, a cosmetics subsidiary of L’Oreal, and Essie, a diverse yet approachable nail polish line speaks to the millennial heart.

GenX

  • Sephora & Mary Kay: Gen X uses a balance of both modern and classic; turning to Sephora to stay up with the latest trends and Mary Kay for practical reliability.

Baby Boomers

  • NARS & Maybelline: In perhaps the most surprising twist, many Baby Boomers are turning to the bold cosmetic line NARS proving they know how to stay up with the latest trends while others in their generation turn to the classic and dependable line Maybelline.

3. Department Store
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People have been predicting the end of department stores for years, but that remains far from the truth. In fact, many department stores are enjoying a bit of a comeback. So where does each generation prefer to shop when it comes to big box stores?

GenZ

  • Nordstrom, Target, TJ Maxx: No real surprises here, but Generation Z proves they enjoy the seamless experience that Nordstrom and Target offer while at the same time revealing they’re still on the hunt for a good deal with their love of TJ Maxx.

Millennials

  • Kohl’s, Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman: Millennials once again have their balancing act on full display—turning to Kohl’s and Macy’s for a good deal and setting their sights on luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman when they’re ready to splurge.

GenX

  • Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, Marshalls: This list is a bit surprising. Generation X goes for luxury retailer Neiman Marcus and in stark contrast still has an affinity for troubled retailer JCPenney. Maybe it’s nostalgia?

Baby Boomers

  • Walmart, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue: Baby boomers still turn to Walmart for their staples, but turn to the OGs of the luxury department stores Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue when they feel like splurging.

4. Designer Apparel
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Some of the more surprising audience insights come from apparel. The younger generations are bringing back some millennial classics while the older generations prove they have plenty of discretionary income to burn.

GenZ

  • Charlotte Russe, Aeropostale, Lilly Pulitzer: It seems the early 00’s are making a comeback with Gen Z flocking to brands from millennial’s youth.

Millennials

  • Zara, Prada, Vera Wang: These 3 brands are perhaps the most contrasting and interesting of the bunch, showing off the Millennial generation’s diversity.

GenX

  • Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Valentino: Gen X is showing off their spending power with these luxury apparel lines.

Baby Boomers

  • Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors: The baby boomer generation shows off their appeal for the timelessness with these 3 luxury brands.

5. Home Furnishings
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Everyone is spending more time at home thanks to COVID, so it should come as no surprise that purchases in the home decor sector are on the rise. What is surprising is where each generation turns to when they’re looking to spruce up their place:

GenZ

  • Dormify, Inspire Me: The younger generation turns to Dormify to bring their dorms to life and online retailer Inspire Me for glamorous decor.

Millennials

  • Frontgate & Abbyson Living: These two online home decor retailers win big with the millennial crowd.

GenX

  • Magnolia & Herman Millers: Gen Xers show off their love for Chip & Joanna Gains and also their appreciation for a quality home office chair.

Baby Boomers

  • Ballard Designs & Cost Plus World Market: Both online furnishing retailers have classic comfort vibes that bode well with the boomer crowd.

6. Sportswear
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The athleisure market is expected to reach over 300 billion in market share by the end of 2021. But what will be the top brands to pique each generation’s interest as they scour Black Friday deals this year?

GenZ

  • Gaiam & Triangl: Gen Z is focused on developing their yoga skills and vacation vibes with these two retailers.

Millennials

  • Hurley & Under Armour: Two classic sportswear brands that millennials grew up with are still their go-tos for athletic apparel.

GenX

  • Patagonia & The North Face: High-end outdoor apparel lines claim the top spot for Generation X.

Baby Boomers

  • Lululemon & Lacoste: Mixing new and old, Baby Boomers prove they can still remain trendy with their love of Lululemon while still remaining loyal to the classic brand Lacoste.

There you have it. The brands that resonate most with each generation and are sure to enjoy huge earnings this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Interested in understanding the interests and affinities of your target audience? We can help.

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