Millennials are killing Costco, apparently
What's not to love about Costco? It's got products you need in quantities vast enough that you may never run out, reasonably priced clothing essentials that also come in high volume, and even if the free samples aren't your thing you can partake in the snack bar with its curious burgers and giant pieces of pizza.
But apparently us millennials just can't get enough of online shopping, and, according to a Washington Post article, "as more of Americans' buying shifts online, some retail analysts say warehouse clubs may largely be left behind."
And the main culprit behind it? Millennials, says the Post. Their evidence is that warehouse clubs' membership skews older, and that younger millennials (which the article sometimes conflates with what has come to be known as "Gen Z") have no patience for trips to Costco and their ilk, and instead order all their goods online "using their smartphones."
"In other words, it wasn't physical proximity or access to warehouse stores that were keeping customers away but rather a lack of willingness to shop for toilet paper and dish soap in person," the Post article reads.
Instead younger shoppers are turning to things like Amazon Prime and Boxed, an online retailer similar to a warehouse club.
And it's not just Costco: Walmart announced earlier this month that it would close 63 Sam's Club stores. Warehouse clubs in general are a sector that's falling behind; slow to shift their business online or offer home delivery, and these chains have cut an average of 2,500 jobs each month in 2017, according to a Post analysis.
What the article doesn't seem to mention is the idea that millennials are just as enamored with Costco, but have practical difficulties in justifying a membership there: We tend to live in apartments that don't have room for a year's worth of toilet paper. We may ride their parents' coat-tails to gain access, similar to using a parent's Netflix password. Or that while it's a more costly annual investment, Amazon Prime affords not just bulk food but access to television, movies, and more.
And yet the Post doesn't seem to see anything beyond the sphere of influence commanded by millennials (if you can believe such a realm exists). In their eyes millennials are just one industry-killer after another.
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