In the wake of the long series of lean economic years since the onset of the Great Recession, America’s affluent millennials have taken to shopping for groceries, toiletries and even clothing at ultra-discount stores such as Dollar General and Family Dollar.
It’s not just Pabst Blue Ribbon-drinking hipsters trying way too hard to be different, either. At Dollar General, members of the millennial generation — of all income brackets — accounted for nearly 25 percent of the company’s first quarter revenue in 2016, reports Reuters.
Millennials, if you are not up on your demographic jargon, are the cohort of young people born roughly between 1980 and 2000. It’s the term baffled academics and journalists have chosen to bestow on the generation after Generation X.
The dollar store-shopping young people found by Reuters say they buy stuff at the stores for the same reason everyone else does: to save cash.
“As years passed and my family grew, I realized I could buy the same items at a dollar store for a fraction of the price,” 35-year old educator Victoria Marin told the news agency.
Marin, who lives in upstate New York says she enjoys a household income around $150,000, said she purchase groceries, paper products, Christmas decorations and even some clothes at her local Dollar General store because stuff is considerably cheaper there compared to say, at Target or Walmart.
Houston freelance copywriter Eric Brantner, who claims to rake in about $100,000 annually, said he buys many items at Dollar Tree that aren’t name brands, but they are fine.
“For instance, the cotton swabs aren’t Q-Tips, but they work just as well and are less than half the price,” Brantner told Reuters.
An analysis by NPD Group shows that roughly 29 percent of the shoppers at Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have annual household incomes exceeding $100,000.
The store chains — which typically sell items costing between $1 and perhaps $10 — have been largely successful at changing the perception that they are only for people with low incomes. The recession definitely helped lure all kinds of people away from big-box stores, according to Reuters. Management is working hard to keep all the new customers.
The strategy seems to be working. For the most recent quarter, both Dollar General and Dollar Tree recorded profits that exceeded the predictions of analysts.
Nielsen data shows that wealthy millennials — with incomes in excess of $100,000 — are increasingly shopping at dollar stores. The number rose over 7 percent from 2012 to 2015.
Department store brands such as Macy’s and big-box retailers such as Target reported weak earnings in the most recent quarter.
In addition to shopping at discount stores, millennials also support U.S. military intervention including the use of ground troops against the Islamic State and believe that the 2015 outbreak of #BlackLivesMatter protests will fail to create any meaningful changes in American society, according to a Harvard University survey conducted last year. (RELATED: Harvard Survey Shows Majority Of Millennials Favor War On ISIS, Are Cynical About #BlackLivesMatter)
In 2014, another poll by the same Harvard polling group showed that 18-to-29-year-old Americans were abandoning the Democratic coalition built largely by Obama. (RELATED: Millennials Reject Obama In Droves)