How are you tailoring your business to cater to Millennials?

As Millennials Mature, Firm Future For Retail

I cover retail real estate and how the industry impacts communities

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
In less than three years, the oldest millennials turn 40. At that point, the biggest U.S. generation also gradually becomes the nation’s dominant consumers. As this group graduates to middle age, there are plenty of reasons for retailers to feel confident.

Millennials make up 27 percent of the global population, accounting for more than 80 million U.S. residents. Based on size alone, that’s a huge demographic opportunity for the economy. Take millennials and the younger Gen Z population together, nearly half the U.S. population, and it becomes clear that the future of consumer spending looks strong.

To turn those numbers into results, we have to understand how demographic and macroeconomic factors are creating unique pressures and future opportunities for the retail real estate industry.

We’ve had a challenging economic environment. Wages adjusted for inflation have been stagnant. Median household income is flat. Millennials spent their early adult years during the Great Recession, and the downturn erased tens of millions of jobs. As a result, many millennials are starting their careers a bit later. They also are getting married at an older age than their predecessors. And they have more than six times the amount of student loan debt as baby boomers.

These are big macro issues that affect the economy. They are also real challenges that will greatly influence what millennials buy, and how they spend their money.

Millennials were raised with the Internet and mobile devices. Technology allows them to access information, research products and connect with their friends in a way that no generation before them thought would be possible. But even in this digital age, Millennials place a premium on social interaction and experiences. They are health-conscious and service-oriented. You might find them working out in a small group training class, or spending on brands that support causes they believe in. What’s ultimately driving millennials buying behavior is a personalized, authentic experience.

The industry is adapting to these motivations by elevating its game, just as it’s done numerous times before. Retailers are delivering new experiences and services. The “athleisure” brand Lululemon, for instance, literally lays down yoga mats to offer in-store classes to customers. Malls are evolving too, bringing in more restaurant options, dine-in movie theaters and even fitness studios. As the CEO of Smoothie King shared recently, the numerous flavor combinations are as much about a state of mind as they are about taste. These decisions are lifestyle-driven, and show how retailers and developers are listening carefully to what consumers want to test and buy.

Millennials are knowledgeable, well-informed consumers. They’re the most educated generation in U.S. history. They are likely to have a higher household income than previous generations. And they’re focused on social good. As millennials settle down and reach their prime spending years, they’ll have the mindset and tools in place to sustain a healthy retail environment for decades to come.

Common Myths about Chamber Membership

Myth: The Chamber of Commerce is a charitable organization to which I should donate my money.
Myth Buster: The Chamber of Commerce is a business organization that works to improve the economic climate within the city, county, and region. Membership fees are investments into the work of the chamber and into the individual business itself.

Myth: The Chamber of Commerce is part of City Government.
Myth Buster: The Chamber of Commerce is an independent 501(c)(6) organization with its own board of directors and is funded by its members.

Myth: The chamber concentrates only on larger businesses, and mine is too small to benefit.
Myth Buster: Most members of the Chamber of Commerce are small businesses with fewer than 10 employees. There are many ways to benefit such as taking advantage of networking events, monthly luncheons, professional development seminars, ribbon cuttings, and website advertising. Simply reading our weekly e-news keeps you in the loop on what’s going on in and around the community.

Myth: If I can’t come to chamber events, I should not be a member.
Myth Buster: Your membership is working for you even if you aren’t working for your membership. With our new Search Engine Optimized website, your listing is getting daily views. Also, your window cling, membership plaque, and directory listing make a strong statement about you and your business – that you care about the community and are a credible, upstanding business. And finally, the chamber does not refer non-chamber members for goods and services, so you have a leg up on some of your competitors.

Myth: The Chamber of Commerce is just a social club, and I already have all the friends I need.
Myth Buster: First of all, people love doing business with people they know, so you can never have enough friends. But more importantly, the Chamber of Commerce makes in impact on the community in ways you might not see. The chamber works, often behind the scenes, to advocate on members’ behalf. They bring together stakeholders and decision makers for economic and workforce development. They keep their members informed of relevant news or opportunities for specific business sectors. They highlight the attributes a city offers to bring in tourists and new residents. They unify communities.

AEMTC Agrees to new Labor Deal with NAS

National Aerospace Solutions, LLC (NAS) and Chugach Federal Solutions Inc. were informed by the Air Engineering Metal Trades Council (AEMTC) that the AEMTC membership has voted to approve a new 3-year labor agreement for Test, Operations and Sustainment work at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), officials announced in a press release dated late Wednesday, June 28. The AEMTC represents approximately 600 members through 10 local unions. The work of the AEMTC membership is vital to the mission at AEDC.

NAS leadership is pleased that negotiations have led to a labor agreement…read more

Manchester is one of Tennessee’s Safest Cities

LendEDU recently released a report that highlighted the safest cities in Tennessee and Manchester was ranked as one of the safest. Congrats on the recognition!
Using licensed data, each city’s crime index was rated against the state and national average crime index. And, Manchester has a crime index that makes it the #26 safest city in Tennessee!
The full report and a more detailed methodology can be found here:
Everyone wants to know that they live in a safe place! It provides a sense of comfort and security. Manchester is one of the safest towns in the entire state of Tennessee.