Industry Views - March 2013

Forecaster Jill Sands On
Millennials Vs. Boomers

Jill Sands, publisher of “The Trend Forecaster” (802-867-4079,, elaborates on ideas from her newsletter’s Winter 2013 edition.

From “The Trend Forecaster”: “2013 will be the tipping point of the downside of the Boomer’s market dominance, passing the baton to the Echo-Boomers. (Echo-Boomers are also referred to as Gen Y or Millennials [numbering 79 million, they range in age from 13-30].)...They are in school, in college, working, married, parents, setting up homes, and are all honing their lifestyle preferences. They were the hardest hit by the recession; therefore, they are the most fiscally cautious. Even though many are waiting to marry or not marrying at all, they are nesting and want realism in their homes. Most were of voting age in 2012, they are more likely to be urban, and they all grew up with technology....It’s also been predicted that the 2013 trade shows will be remembered as the moment when the tastes of the Millennial generation moved to the forefront.”

LDB Interior Textiles: Will the customization trend begun a few years ago gain in popularity with Millennials?

Sands: “There most likely will be customization as we know it, but I feel it’s something that will enter gradually. I believe that customization and personalization, at least initially, will be the way in which they purchase and how they put things together. There’s so much available, both on- and off-line, that it becomes quite easy to be an individual. In clothing and furnishings, it’s a customized, personalized collected-look unique to each individual.

“It did surprise me that the Echo-Boomer/Millennial tipping-point has been achieved rather quickly and quietly. Millennials are a quiet generation; the antithesis of Boomers who loudly vowed to break all of the rules...and achieved many successes! Just think of musical differences...Kiss vs. One Direction. Also interesting is that 14 percent of Boomers say they have no religious affiliation, whereas 32 percent of Millennials claim to have no religious affiliation (referred to as the “Nones.”)

From “The Trend Forecaster”: “[In 2013} We’re redefining ‘Luxury’ and combining it with a new sense of simplicity...Adding luxury in the way we live our lives versus the ownership of more things.”

Sands: “Right now, tangible luxury doesn’t carry the same panache with Millennials as it does with Boomers. But, think back to when Boomers were in their 20s. They were completely anti-establishment.... I don’t have a crystal ball, but I predict that given enough time, Echo-Boomers will desire more luxurious goods. As a group, they may not possess the quantity of financial resources, but manufacturers will create ‘luxurious’ products catered to their desires.” LDB

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