7-Eleven Gifts for Millennials, From Toys to Tech

Published in CSP Daily News

Retailer targets Gen Y gift-givers, recipients with pop culture, gadgets, games, gift cards

DALLAS -- To appeal to Gen Y, or millennial-age shoppers--those born between 1980 and 2000--7-Eleven Inc.'s holiday gift selection is heavy on pop culture, pro sports, tech and toys, gadget-y stocking stuffers, video games, DVDs and gift cards.

Comparable to big-box retailers and even online retailers, 7-Eleven's prices let customers shop easily without paying a premium for convenience, the company said. Millennials value convenience more than their Baby Boomer parents, according to "Trouble in Aisle 5," a study of grocery shopping patterns by Jefferies investment bank and AlixPartners business advisory firm. This age group is more willing to shop a variety of retail outlets rather than relying on the traditional supermarkets. That includes convenience stores, where a higher number of Gen Y shoppers purchase everyday essentials and fresh foods than boomers.

Coming of age in the recent recession, this up-and-coming purchase-power generation is also more price-sensitive than boomers. They expect value, but not at the expense of quality.

Nick Triantafellou, 29, 7-Eleven nonfoods merchandiser and a millennial himself, has worked the better part of a year to find items that appeal to this--his--generation of shoppers.

"Millennials are all about creating their own personal brand by what they buy, wear and collect," he said. "We know this age group already shops our stores and is more likely to treat themselves with an impulse buy. They won't just buy to be buying though. They are looking for something different, something that speaks to them personally and also is high quality."

7-Eleven research shows that two out of three toy-buyers in its stores fall in the millennial age range. Triantafellou sees that as reason enough to target his category to this demographic.

"Millennials have long coattails," he said. "They are the early-adopters, and the other age-groups, both younger and older, follow their lead. Look at Facebook, Spotify and iTune. It's actually not a new phenomenon, this age group is typically the trendsetter, and it's a challenge to stay on the leading edge of what's trending at any moment."

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