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Millennials: Selling Home and Garden to Generation Rent

April 2018

In 2018, the last of the millennial generation will be reaching their mid-20s. This generation possesses characteristics distinct from Baby Boomers and Generation X, having grown up in a digital-first world. However, millennials face a sea of challenges as they step into adulthood. This report explores the opportunities that home and garden retailers and manufacturers can tap into to win the hearts and wallets of the most connected and educated generation in history.

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The millennial home is increasingly defined as “small”

Millennials are having smaller families and opting for smaller houses, and this will shape their tastes and demand across home and garden products. Millennials around the world are also finding it difficult to finance their first homes, often troubled by high youth unemployment, student debt burdens, supporting ageing parents, and rising costs of living. This has led to the rise of “generation rent” or “boomerang kids”.

“Minimalist” in more than just style

Time poverty is a defining trait of millennials worldwide, and the biggest challenge that comes with serving millennials is the rise of the DIFM (or Do-It-For-Me) movement. The DIFM consumer often lacks experience and time, hence products have to demand minimal time, minimal skill and minimal attention from them.

Engage with expertise

Many millennials have considerably less household knowledge and skills than previous generations. In times of difficulty, millennials’ first port of call is the internet, where they will be looking for guidance and education, even for the simplest of tasks. The second is their parents or grandparents.

Engage with experience

Social media, internet retailing and ventures into growing experiential industries, such as consumer foodservice and travel, present retailers and manufacturers with opportunities to connect creatively with millennials beyond traditional showrooms or media advertising methods.

Engage with electronics

Millennials are digital natives, and embrace the blurring of lines between online and offline worlds. Their tech-savviness allows them easily to keep up with the ever growing sophistication of technologies such as AR and smart homes.


Key findings

Millennials and Homes

Millennials in the world
The young are not that young any more
The developed/emerging divide
Not a child, not yet an adult: Millennials in a quarter-life crisis
Millennials are reshaping the housing market

What Millennials Want

Defining traits of today’s millennials
Generation rent: dreaming of becoming “generation owners”
Digital natives: demanding digital everything
Mind over materialism: mental health over material wealth
Time poverty: rise of the no-cook g ourmet
Global citizens: collective confidence is the name of the game
Ethical consumerism: “Peak stuff” and distrust

Targeting Millennials in Home and Garden

Digital guidance for the digital native
Omnichannel : still an industry aspiration
Omnichannel : the path to digital is full of roadblocks
Old is gold
Home improvement: rise of the DIFM consumer
Gardening: smart, small, and simple is the way to go
Homewares: efficiency and efficacy is crucial
Home furnishings: only the best for their child( ren )

Case Studies

Inter IKEA
Muji (Ryohin Keikaku Co)
Click and Grow
Wayfair LLC

Key Takeaways

Selling home and garden products to the millennial generation


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