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LIM College Students' Survey Findings Draw Extensive Media Coverage


“Shopping Trends Among 18-25 Year-Olds” receives nationwide attention

The use of technology for shopping by 18-25 year olds is significantly overrated. In fact, more than 68% of the 18-25 year-olds surveyed “prefer to shop in stores than online for apparel and shoes,” according to the results of a new survey, Shopping Trends Among 18-25 Year-Olds, by a group of LIM College students and in conjunction with the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA).

The survey results were released Jan. 17 at the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s 101st Annual Convention at the Javits Center in New York City. A press release about the students’ survey findings has now made its way onto more than 300 media outlets' websites, throughout the U.S. and internationally. These include the websites of 162 local TV stations (in cities including Phoenix, San Diego, Honolulu, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Seattle), 30 trade publications, and 87 newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, Boston Globe, Yahoo! Finance, Los Angeles Daily News, Newsday, Dallas Business Journal, and the Anchorage Daily News.

Read an article about the survey on Women's Wear Daily (WWD)'s website.

In announcing the release of Shopping Trends Among 18-25 Year-Olds, LIM College student Alexis Michaelides said, “We have read and observed what industry leaders had been saying about our use of technology for shopping and it did not match our own habits and preferences.”

“As part of our activities as an NRFSA we decided to survey our peers to analyze how 18-25 year-olds shop, where we shop, how much we spend, our preferences for shopping online and via mobile devices versus in stores, and the role social media plays in our shopping activities,” said Patrick Mays, another member of the LIM College NRFSA team.

“And sure enough retail observers have been significantly overestimating our use of online and digital technology for shopping. We like shopping in stores and are not as engaged in shopping on the Internet as many have touted.  I guess the demise of the brick and mortar format of retailing -- at least for 18-25 year-olds -- is grossly exaggerated,” Nicole Flasch-Mihalko, another member of the LIM College NRFSA team concluded.

For example, key findings indicate:

  • 68 % of 18-25 year-olds would much rather shop in stores than online for apparel and shoes, suggesting that they like to touch, feel and try on a product before buying.
  • And while 68% prefer to shop in stores, they are using the Web for gathering information -- with 66 % using the Web to browse and compare prices. 
  • Only 23% shop from a tablet or a smart phone. 
  • The 18-25 year old is not as impulsive as commonly believed. The survey found that 66% like to think about their purchase before buying.
  • 56% of 18-25 year olds pay for most of their purchases via debit cards vs. cash or credit cards.
  • Even as the earliest adopters, only 20% shop from flash sale sites such as Rue La La, Gilt Groupe, etc.  In fact, the majority do not know of them. 
  • With regards to social media, this consumer will “like” a brand on Facebook, but more than 88% do not yet want to shop thru Facebook/Twitter.

LIM College was the first higher education institution to promote participation in NRFSA and first to register their student members. Under the direction of faculty advisor Professor Marla Greene of the Marketing & Management Department and Marketing & Management Department Chair Dr. Dudley Blossom, and with Robert Wallstrom, President of Saks OFF 5TH as a consultant, the LIM College group’s survey of 310 18-25 year-old primarily female consumers was conducted online this past fall.

“One of the goals of NRFSA is to encourage campus groups to engage in activities that build the skills and understanding of retail to succeed in careers in retail and related industries,” said NRF Foundation Executive Director Kathy Mance. “Their leadership and initiative in creating and undertaking a survey epitomizes what we hoped to foster when we formed NRFSA. The students will certainly enjoy the benefits of such extra-curricular efforts as they continue their education and move into the world of retailing.”

In September 2011, NRF launched the National Retail Federation Student Association to foster and recruit talented students into the retailing industry, enhance their educational experience at participating colleges and help them build an early network of peers who will become leaders in the industry. 

The LIM College students who conducted the survey are:

  • Gina Elizondo
  • Nicole Flasch-Mihalko (presenter)
  • Anna Forte
  • Jenel Gordon
  • Jaclyn Gregoretti
  • Colleen Hofmann
  • Alyssa Izzo
  • Jenna Lippi
  • Victoria Lipton
  • Paloma Martinez
  • Patrick Mays (presenter)
  • Alexis Michaelides (presenter)
  • Jennifer Pappalardo
  • Megan Peabody
  • Danielle Piro
  • Alexandra Rodrigues (presenter)

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