Young Consumers Pinch Their Pennies

Business has long coveted young consumers. But economic change could pinch their spending
If only Millennials—all 70 million of them—were as affluent as their boomer parents Getty Images(9); Corbis(1); Bloomberg(1)

Millennials were supposed to be the next golden ticket for retailers. A cohort of 70 million consumers roughly between the ages of 18 and 34, this was the first generation of Americans to grow up with cell phones and the Web. Marketers could reach them in myriad ways—tweets, Facebook pages—that were unavailable when their boomer parents started out. “Marketers thought, ‘Here come the Millennials, we’re going to have an awesome time selling to them,’” says Max Lenderman, a director at ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky. “They were waiting for a boom. Then comes the financial crisis, and all of a sudden the door has almost slammed in their face.”

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