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Millennials favour physical stores over online buying finds survey

Millennials still prefer to shop in-store rather than online, despite being the most digitally-connected generation, according to a study from property group CBRE.

The group conducted detailed international research with 13,000 consumers aged between 22 and 19, across 12 countries. Participants were asked about how they live, work and play, with analysis of how this will impact future property requirements.

The study found that 70 per cent of millennials prefer to shop in a physical store, and that this is unlikely to change dramatically in the future. Nearly half of the respondents want to be able to have their desired products immediately, and to be able to touch and try them in-store before purchase.

A total of 27 per cent of millennial shopping is done online, but its popularity varies significantly from country to country. Countries with higher levels of international retailers recorded higher levels of online shopping, and of those who do order online a significant two thirds prefer home delivery, with delivery to work their second choice and click and collect third.

“The findings of our research have dispelled some assumptions and reinforced others,” says CBRE head of EMEA and UK retail Andrew Phipps. “The fact that millennials have joined the workforce during a time of global economic change has had a profound impact on places they work, live and play. From a retail perspective it is a certainty that the physical store retains its position of importance in the shopper’s journey.

“Online is seen to complement the in-store shopping as opposed to a direct alternative. This means that the need for retailers to create compelling experiences to ensure shoppers have a reason to visit again and again has never been greater,” adds Phipps. “It’s a truism that millennials are the future and an in-depth understanding of what they want, and importantly what they don’t want, is key.”

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