STORES Magazine - May 2011 - (Page 16)

EXECUTIVE SUITE / DEMOGRAPHICS The Tastemakers How Generation Y is helping to save luxury brands BY FIONA SOLTES C olor the Millennial Generation in Burberry plaid. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, the British luxury brand added more than 600,000 “likes” to its Facebook page. At that rate, it’ll reach 10 million by the middle of next year. Respond with a shrug and you may encounter more than the disdain of your pals and their virtual “friends.” If you are a luxury brand, you may also experience a slow decline. Digital channels are no longer just about looking up past loves and posting pictures of kids; following the lead of those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, they offer brands a way to connect, engage and build loyalty at the click of a button. Combine that with the fact that the Millennials — also known as Generation Y — represent the largest consumer group in U.S. history, and luxury brands that “get it” have reason to perk up, experts say. “They’re willing to pay more for an item, but it better last forever with a capital ‘F’. They want durability: durability in design, durability in quality, durability in style and in materials.” — Milton Pedraza, Luxury Institute But not so fast. Millennials, as a whole, are making conscious choices with their cash. They’re more interested in value than heritage and authenticity vs. tactical marketing 16 STORES / MAY 2011 that rings untrue. And watching the way they’ve influenced fashion, technology and even workplace attitudes in recent years, the outspoken, DIY, anything-ispossible generation will leave its mark on luxury, too. “One thing I’ve found is that, if you look at the younger audience, it tends to be a harbinger of the entire audience,” says Paul Hurley, CEO of flash sale site ideeli, which offers members-only access to luxury brands online. “What they do now, they will likely do when they’re older. But what they’re WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - May 2011

STORES Magazine - May 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Supply Chain
Getting Closer to Customers
Workforce Management
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Rewards
Human Resources
2011 Software Sourcebook Guide
Website Security
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - May 2011