Power to the (Gen Z) People

U.S. Gen Z teens and young adults have greater spending power than those in several other countries.

August 13, 2018

ROCKVILLE, Maryland – With a buying power of $500 billion-plus, Gen Z teens and young adults have a spending ability that is comparable to the GDP of several countries, including Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Thailand and Venezuela, according a new report, “Looking Ahead to Gen Z: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends,” from Packaged Facts, a market research company.

The report looks at the 52 million people who make up Generation Z (defined as ages 13-24 and representing 16% of the U.S. population). With the money they have to spend and the money their parents spend on them, members of Gen Z already are having a major impact on the American economy and are becoming a group of consumers no retailer can afford to overlook.

While they grew up with modern technology, many Gen Z consumers are enjoying “old-fashioned” shopping, with 67% of them preferring to make a purchase in a store as opposed to shopping online, the report found. They love shopping for shoes and clothes, with young Gen Z men spending 53% more money on apparel than their millennial counterparts.

Gen Z consumers also enjoy entertainment outside of the home more than millennials, and they frequently attend movies and concerts or other live performances, perhaps because they are much less likely to be raising children.

“Gen Z is anything but monolithic or expected,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “A common thread between the diverse array of Gen Z kids seems to be their tendency to weave social media and digital experiences into their physical, everyday lives. For a brand to be big with Gen Z, having brick-and-mortar store locations and a strong online presence are both essential to generating business and buzz.”

For more on this powerful demographic, check out “Better For you” in the July issue of NACS Magazine to get a deeper understanding of how Gen Z sensibilities will transform your store.