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Walmart Is New Favorite Store For Millennials

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 6/18/2015

In a development that shocked nearly everyone (including store execs), Walmart has emerged as one of the Millennial generation's favorite shopping destinations. Here's why.

Walmart is one of the most popular big box retailers in the U.S. But while Millennials have historically avoided Walmart in favor of niche retail brands, there's new evidence that Walmart is becoming a favorite retailer of the under-24 crowd.

Walmart Popular with Millennials

Photo credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

The Millennial Generation Is Flocking to Walmart

According to recently released InfoScout data, Walmart ranks higher with millennials (under the age of 24) than Costco, Target, Kroger, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. When it comes to consumers in the 25-34 age bracket, Walmart ranks second only to Target.

In many cases, Walmart is outperforming brands that intentionally cater to younger consumers. For example, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's provide smaller format stores with products that appeal to niche values that were thought to drive millennials' buying decisions.

Walmart's internal data also appears to confirm InfoScout's findings -- and no one is more surprised than the company's leaders. Walmart CMO Stephen Quinn told Ad Age that Walmart's strong appeal to millennial consumers, "kind of shocks a lot of people, including inside the company."

Why Millennials Love Walmart

There are a lot factors behind Walmart's sudden surge in popularity among millennials. But in general, millennials are choosing Walmart for many of the same reasons as other generations of consumers: it's convenient and cheap.

Faced with student loan debt, low-paying jobs and young families, many millennials are shopping at Walmart for its low prices and wide selection of products. Recent improvements in Walmart's e-commerce experience and e-marketing strategies have also helped attract younger consumers to the brand.

Quinn suggested that nostalgia might play a role as well. "It could be their Baby Boomer parents dragged them to Walmart so much it feels a bit like home."

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