Millennials: are we ruining department stores?


Xavier students, among other millennials, are ceasing money spending at Nordstroms, as well as other department stores. Helen Innes ’19

Helen Innes, Opinion Editor

Millennials are likely the most experienced bargain hunters and tech savviest generation, ever. Although under much controversy, millennials are born “after 1980 and [are] the first generation to come of age in the new millennium,” according to With millennials making up over 25% of the US population (, it is no wonder why department stores are trying to attract the young hipsters to walk through their doors. However, this may not be the best option for booming department stores like Nordstrom or Macy’s.

Most millennials choose to spend money at a myriad of other stores including Madewell and Urban Outfitters. Department stores seem outdated according to sophomore Abbey Alexander, “I would rather go somewhere where I can support local and independent business like boutiques [that include Alixandra Blue in Arcadia and Frances in Phoenix]. I know that this will actually affect people.” Abbey, an idealistic example of a millennial, relates to a new study. “A hefty 84 percent of millennials made a charitable donation in 2014, and 70 percent spent at least an hour volunteering, according to the Millennial Impact Report by the research group, Achieve, which surveyed more than 2,500 millennial employees and managers.”, as said on Many millennials are more likely to spend money at places where they know that the payment will be of importance and benefit a specific cause or person, even though millennials are tighter on the wallet. Although many department stores may have a week of special, charitable donations, the monopoly of Dillard’s and JCPenney just does not seem to please the younger generation.

Apart from spending, the malls are floundering for other reasons. Millennials, being the high-tech generation, find online shopping a breeze on their phones. However, though many department stores put in the effort to cater to millennials by hourly-updated Instagram pages or flash sales, this is not the smartest move. Most millennials are found to spend most money on tech accessories such as phone cases or on personal products such as makeup and jewelry, even Lululemon or Nike apparel instead.

Though many stores take the effort to cater to the youngest generation, many companies are desperate for money. Millennials, though we may not realize it, affect the economy with our money-spending patterns that, in turn, could potentially cause another recession.