Published: February 25, 2016
Millennials, the generation that started around 1989, have taken over society. They want things a specific way and are not afraid to take it to Twitter if someone dares to refuse them. According to Brookings.edu, 89 percent of millennials “expressed a stronger likelihood that they would buy from companies that supported solutions to specific social issues.” This statistic has drastically changed the corporate climate at many institutions. Along with the pressure millennials put on for social change, they have also begun to move away from money being a determining factor for success. According to the same study by Brookings, 87.5 percent disagreed its “money is the best measure of success.” So what does all this mean? Well, for corporations it means a whole new outlook on how business is done and how they treat the environment, workers and current popular social issues. On top of all of these social pressures millennials put on companies, they also demand advanced technology. The more smartphones are involved and the less human interaction, the better.
Millennials demand social responsibility and technologically inclined stores, so are there any companies out there that fit this bill?
Whole Foods Market, along with many other companies, is attempting to tap into the hearts, and pockets of millennials. Whole Foods plans to roll out a new kind of store named “365, by Whole Foods Market.” The reason Whole Foods plans to roll out these new stores is because many of its competitors have begun to sell organic products, therefore eliminating Whole Foods’ dominance of a growing niche market. The main trouble Whole Foods faced with the movement of others into its market was the difference in prices. Organic produce and products are more expensive due to its shorter shelf life. The problem was that other stores were selling their organic foods for less. Everyone from Target to Stop & Shop implemented organic sections to its stores. The allure of going to one of these is that you do not need to only buy organic foods. Consumers can mix organic and non-organic produce and products, but at Whole Foods this is not an option. Whole Foods’ rebuttal to this is making everything cheaper. 365 Markets will be all around cheaper. CEO Jeff Turnas describes the new stores as “A modern, streamlined design with innovative technology and a carefully curated product mix that will offer an efficient and rewarding way to grocery shop,” but he also specifically states that, “We are not looking at a discount model.” The stores will offer the full capabilities of Whole Foods Markets that are innovated with technology to cater to millennials.”
Though Whole Foods seems to be ahead of the eight ball on this one, Starbucks has been catering to millennials since its popularity began to skyrocket. Starbucks has been socially-conscious and technologically-inclined for years now. Their addition of free Wi-Fi in 2010 and the creation of its app in 2013, have skyrocketed its popularity. Also, the sustainable nature of its stores and the sleek, homely design attracts millennials on an aesthetic level.
As people anxiously await the first 365 by Whole Foods to open in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, all that can be hoped for is that Whole Foods follows the path paved by companies like Starbucks into prosperity with millennials.
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