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Report: Get ready for most demanding consumers in history

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The first generation to grow up online — Gen Z— is also poised to rank as the most demanding consumer group in history.

That’s according to a new report from Fung Global Retail & Technology, which warns that retailers, restaurants and leisure companies will have to adapt to the wants and needs of Gen Zers (refers to those born in 2001 and later.

Having grown up with social media and assuming instant access to almost all things digital, from music to video to information, Gen Z want it all — and they want it now as they acquire apparel, cosmetics and experiences.

"The new technology products and services have broadened consumers' range of choice and quickened the pace of life," said Deborah Weinswig, managing director of Fung Global Retail & Technology. "It is hard not to see these creating a more demanding, image-conscious consumer."

Gen Z comprises 19% of the U.S. population, and will rise to 25% in 2020. In the EU, the generation accounts for 16% of the population, and is forecast to peak at 21% in five years.

The only generation to grow up with the on-demand economy, Gen Zers likely will continue to be highly demanding consumers, whether they are requesting instant access to video, ride-hailing apps or delivery services.

"Exposure to near-infinite choice and access to near-endless information makes this generation more demanding than any of its predecessors,” Weinswig said. “As Gen Z matures, it will become more discerning, but its demanding nature is unlikely to be diluted. We think brands and retailers will be the ones that need to change, because Gen Z looks unlikely to compromise on its high expectations."

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Holiday forecast: Higher sales, more online shopping

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The holiday shopping frenzy has begun, and it is shaping up to be more digital than ever.

Summer has barely said goodbye, but consumers nationwide have already turned their attention to the holidays. In fact, nearly one third of consumers, and nearly half of parents, began holiday shopping before Labor Day.

These findings were revealed in the second annual “Holiday Consumer Pulse Poll” from Rubicon Project, a report based on 1,003 interviews among U.S. shoppers. Americans plan to spend on average $1,175 this holiday season, a 12% jump over last year, with consumers slightly more likely to buy lots of smaller items rather than one big-ticket item, the report said.

What’s more interesting is where they plan to do their shopping. The survey found that 73% of respondents plan to shop online this holiday season, and more than one in three plan to shop on mobile. A surprising 22% of shoppers (and 28% of millennials) do not plan to shop in-store at all this year. These online and mobile-only shoppers tend to be millennial males, and most likely will shop for gift cards (64%), apparel/accessories (57%), toys (46%), and technology (37%), the report said.

“This year’s survey shows that consumers are shopping earlier than ever, and taking control of when, where and how they plan to spend billions of dollars on holiday gifts,” said Harry Patz, chief revenue officer, Rubicon Project.

As shoppers continue to do more of their shopping online, Cyber Monday appears to be on track to outpace Black Friday in popularity among consumers. Specifically, 47% of survey respondents planned to shop on Cyber Monday, compared to just 42% for Black Friday. Additionally, 22% of Americans have already started researching Cyber Monday deals as of August, up 10 percentage points from this time last year, the report said.

“With Americans shopping earlier and spending considerably more this year than last, retailers have a unique opportunity to target shoppers across a variety of media and platforms,” Patz added. “The research shows that parents and millennials in particular will be two key drivers behind this year’s increase in holiday spend.”

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Good Neighbor Pharmacy pharmacists discuss the patient-centered approach

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News this summer spoke to three Good Neighbor Pharmacy owners as part of its coverage of AmerisourceBergen ThoughtSpot 2016. In these exclusive interviews, independent pharmacists shared changes implemented in their pharmacy to expand patient care and increase front-end profitability, the importance of customer service and the role of the independent pharmacist in the community.

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