Generation Z set to increase fashion spend but are increasingly picky about where they shop - Savills and intu

27 September 2016

According to new research from Savills and intu, young people are set to increase the amount they spend on fashion over the next 12 months, and are the age group that enjoy shopping in physical stores the most, but they also say they find it hard to find the products they want.

44% of those aged 16-24 (‘Generation Z’) say they envisage increasing their spend on fashion over the next 12 months, compared to just 22% of those aged 65-74 (‘Baby Boomers’), but 50% say there is not enough fashion choice for them, according to the ‘Spotlight: Retail Revolutions’ report.

When faced with difficulties in finding what they want from a physical store, 58% of Generation Z will turn to shopping online, 35% will visit another high street or shopping centre and 6% will not shop at all.

The picture changes went looking at Baby Boomers when they can’t immediately find what they want, 40% say they will shop elsewhere, a third will move online, and 21% will avoid shopping altogether.

See the graphs showing consumer shopping habits by age group here

Sean Gillies, head of UK retail at Savills, comments: “With a robust average spend of £244, which according to those surveyed is set to grow, consumers aged 16-24 are ready and willing to spend more in physical stores, but they just don’t feel all their needs are always catered for. This applies just as much in large retail destinations such as London, Manchester or Newcastle as smaller regional locations such as Northampton, Barnsley or Taunton. While multi-channel retailers may still benefit from purchases being made online, the challenge is for landlords and tenants to find the right balance and to deliver the brands and environment that the younger generations want from the physical store.”

Kate Grant, regional director, intu, says: “Our job as a landlord is to curate the right experience to attract customers from further afield and to stay with us for longer. The right retail mix coupled with a strong leisure offer and customer experience will do just that.

“What’s interesting from this research is that it shows that young people enjoy shopping as a social activity and, despite having never known anything but an omni-channel world, they still prefer visiting the high street and shopping centre. Bringing the online and physical experience closer together will ensure that all channels win in this dynamic retail environment we now live in.”

Tom Whittington, commercial research director at Savills, adds: “The consequence of low consumer fulfilment is clear: if there is no obvious alternative within a reasonable distance, most consumers will opt to buy on the internet. Our research shows that where there is a good alternative, people are generally voting with their feet rather than their fingers, so it is crucial for centres and high streets to mirror consumers’ wants and needs as closely as possible.”

Note to editors

The analysis in the Spotlight: Retail Revolutions report has been undertaken in collaboration with Verdict Research. Savills Research commissioned Verdict to undertake a series of national consumer surveys between March and July 2016, focussing on a range of questions regarding shoppers’ retail preferences and habits.

Sample sizes within the surveys ranged from 5,000 to 14,000. Survey respondents have been allocated their age, social grade and region and their geographical location has been assigned to a shopper town, urbanity and local high street classification.

The resulting analysis has allowed us to interrogate how different age and demographic groups spend, perceive sentiment and satisfaction, have embraced etail, research products either online or offline, and how they react when the local retail offer fails to meet their demands. Of most significance however, is that our research examines how these consumer insights vary across different regions and even in different towns and cities across the country.


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Key Contacts

Sean Gillies

Sean Gillies

Head of UK Retail

Head Office London

+44 (0) 20 7409 8159


Tom Whittington

Tom Whittington

Commercial Research


+44 (0) 161 244 7779