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Millennials are overhyped in retail

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Retailers should stop obsessing over Millennials and instead turn their attention to older generations with greater financial power.

This is according to Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru, who argues in new research that many of the opportunities and challenges Millennials present to retailers are overhyped, debunking three common myths that drive retailers’ obsession:

* Millennials are fundamentally different from other generations because of their exposure to technology. Instead, she says, every generation over the last several decades has experienced some extraordinary change during its youth.

* Millennials have very different tastes and habits, which is why marketers and brands struggle to attract them. She points out that Millennials are not fickle; rather they’re financially strapped and consequently frugal.

* Millennials are headed toward economic catastrophe because they are in unprecedented debt. However, Mulpuru says the future isn’t entirely bleak — today’s youth are making major life decisions that traditionally affect income at an older age.

The reality, Mulpuru writes, is that there is no such thing as “a customer for life.” Most retailers do not need to fret over this younger generation.