Merchandising & Retail Buying

What Gen Z thinks of Department Stores

Team MakerSights

July 6, 2017

Over the past decade department stores have been scratching their heads at how to best sell to millennials. But in that decade, a new generation has become ever more disruptive and are even more elusive when it comes to shopping.

Generation Z is under the age of 22, and has spent their entire lives in the digital age. The children of Generation X have been able to shop online their entire lives and department stores are trying their best to keep up.

Some people forecast the extinction of Department Stores, while others see a promising future. So, at an attempt to settle this debate, MakerSights rounded up 4 fashion forward members of Generation Z and asked them what they thought about the shopping behemoths.

Demetra (Girl, 19) – an inspiring copy editor and university student.

Jordan (Girl, 21) –  a current biotech intern and university student.

Jay (Boy, 20) –  a South Florida native with a knack for all things creative.

David (Boy, 21)  – a kid from New York with a bright future.

What do you think about department stores?

David: "I like department stores. I'm a big fan of Macy's considering they give a lot of discounts. You can find some quality stuff sometimes, but you have to sift through a lot of basic clothes first." 

Jordan: "I don't mind department stores if I'm looking for random things. Recently, I've been finding them to carry the super popular items which I'm not really into. Also sometimes they can be overwhelming. I'll go to department stores when I know they're having sales on brands that I like."

What do you think about malls?

David: "I don't like malls. I'm just not a good shopper like that, and I don't know clothes well enough to navigate a bunch of different stores. I prefer less options when buying clothes, as long as it's not too expensive and trendy."  

Jay: "In my opinion malls are the worst place to shop. I mean, sure you can get anything you want when you see it (if they have your size), but so can everyone else. If you were to walk around the mall on any day, I guarantee you can point out at least 10 people wearing the same pants, shoes, shirts, hats, etc... The mall limits creativity and exclusivity." 

Jordan: "I only really go to the mall if I'm home because my school doesn't have a mall near me. If I go to the mall I usually leave with way more than I actually need. I would rather just go to smaller boutiques or stores that are separate from a big mall." 

What is your favorite place to shop and why?

Demetra: "My favorite place to shop is Nordstrom- which may be a biased answer since I work for the company. However, Nordstrom is very customer friendly as they make returns easy, has great discounts/ sales, and carries a wide variety of brands. I can find all of my favorite brands in store while shopping at Nordstrom such as Free People, True Religion, Burberry, Steve Madden, David Yurman… the list goes on AND I get to use my employee discount which is always a plus." 

Jordan: "Favorite place to shop is Free People. It's a brand that matches my style the best and even though their clothes can be a little pricey, they tend to last if you know how to care for them. The brand carries a wide variety of products from casual to evening, so it's always my go-to store to shop at for everything." 

What do you expect from a clothing store when you go?

David: "At minimum, I expect decent customer service, a line that moves fast, and clothes that fit more than one body type. Sometimes its a pain shopping at H&M because 90% of the pants they carry are skinny, and my legs aren't built that way." 

Jordan: "If I'm going into a store it has to be organized. I can't look through racks that are so filled you can barely move the clothes. I won't spend time searching for outfits, I like to be able to get in and get out with what I'm looking for. I also expect the associates to be helpful and be able to give fashion advice/be stylish."

Jay: "I expect a variety of styles and availability of the items. I also enjoy when the associates are not too annoying."

What is the best way for a brand to reach you? (email, ig, twit, etc.)

Jordan: "I hate when stores email me to be honest. Unless it's about a sale, I would rather see it on Instagram. I usually search stores on Instagram if I'm looking for something in particular."

David: "The best way to reach me is through Instagram, or on street advertising. I'm going to just scroll past an email assuming its junk." 

Jay: "Twitter and Instagram tend to be the best sources when it comes to promoting clothing." 

Team MakerSights

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