Gen Z to up fashion spend but will prove to be even pickier punters: study

Generation Z look set to increase their fashion spend, but will be increasingly picky about their choices when it comes to shopping on the high street, according to new research from Savills and intu.

The savvy audience, defined as being aged between 16 and 24, plan to increase the amount they spend on fashion over the next 12 months, but say they still find it hard to source the products they want from physical stores.

The ‘Spotlight: Retail Revolutions’ report revealed that 44% will up their fashion spend during the next year compared to 22% of those aged 65-74, the ‘baby boomers’.

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However, while they are the age group who enjoy shopping on the high street the most, 50% of Generation Z shoppers said that there just isn’t enough fashion choice for them, and when faced with difficulties, 58% will turn to shopping online, 35% will visit another high street, or 6% will simply not shop at all.

For the Baby Boomer consumer, if they can’t find what they want, 40% will shop elsewhere, a third will head online, while a much larger 21% will opt out of shopping altogether.

According to Savills, the larger retail destinations, such as London, Manchester and Newcastle, will be hit just as hard as the small regional locations, including the likes of Northampton, Barnsley and Taunton.

They say the challenge is now for landlords and tenants to find the right balance to strike a chord with the young consumer when it comes to shopping in the physical store.

Tom Whittington, commercial research director at Savills, added: “The consequence of low consumer fulfilment is clear: if there is no obvious alternative within a reasonable distance, most consumers will opt to buy on the internet. Our research shows that where there is a good alternative, people are generally voting with their feet rather than their fingers, so it is crucial for centres and high streets to mirror consumers’ wants and needs as closely as possible.”

Kate Grant, regional director, intu, said: “What’s interesting from this research is that it shows that young people enjoy shopping as a social activity and, despite having never known anything but an omni-channel world, they still prefer visiting the high street and shopping centre. Bringing the online and physical experience closer together will ensure that all channels win in this dynamic retail environment we now live in.”

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