What do Millennial shoppers really want?

New CBRE Research Challenges Millennial Myths and Perceptions on the way they Shop, Live, and Work

Millennials are at the forefront of using technology and it is reshaping the way they shop. According to new research from CBRE, the world’s leading provider of commercial real estate services, 70% of millennials contrary to expectations prefer to shop in a store instead of online and this is unlikely to dramatically change in the future.

CBRE has conducted one of the most extensive and detailed global research projects which surveyed 13,000 millennials aged between 22 and 29 across 12 countries to understand how they approach lifestyle choices through live, work and play and what this means for future trends in real estate.

Katarina Brydone, Head of Retail at CBRE
"Our global research has pointed out to some interesting facts. The fact, that millennials have started working during the global economic crisis, had a big impact on the places where they work, live and spend their leisure time. From the perspective of a retail it is certain, that the store retains its importance for the customer. It seems that online shopping is an addition to shopping in a store and not its direct alternative. It means that retailers must offer compelling and unique experiences to provide customers a reason to come back, and it more than ever. It is crucial to not only thoroughly understand, what millennials want, but even better, what they do not want.”
Katarina Brydone, Head of Retail at CBRE

Millennials are the first generation to be true digital natives. This immediate access to any part of the online world has driven an increased belief that immediate gratification is something to achieve in all aspects of life.

Almost half of the respondents want to be able to have a desired product immediately and they want to be able to see, touch, feel, test and try out the product in store. While a total of 27% of shopping is done online by the majority of millennials, popularity of online shopping varies dramatically by country due to the differing retail dynamic in each country.

In countries, which have an established international network of retailers, it is likely that online penetration will be higher than those where retailers are more focused on local markets. When the ‘millennial shopper’ does buy online they want the items delivered to their own home. A significant two thirds of people said they preferred home delivery, followed by delivery to place of work while ‘click and collect’, lingered as a third option. Leisure is also an increasingly important part of a millennial’s life and 50% of their income goes on eating out, shopping, visiting the cinema and going to live events.

The findings from the report also reveal that this generation of young adults are facing significant challenges in finding affordable places to live. This is largely attributed to the high cost of residential property and rents coupled with a lack of suitable jobs. Nearly half (49%) of all respondents surveyed, still live at home with their parents and 74% say that wages are not keeping up with property prices, which is one of the main reasons that they are still living with family. A total of 65% cited the reason they rent instead of buying a property due to financial circumstances.

The survey also looked at what millennials want from a job. A total of 64% of millennials consider themselves fortunate to have a job and that working for a small number of companies during their career is something that they aspire to. However, the level of loyalty to a company is ranked low and workers will move jobs if the right salary, learning and development and opportunity to work with similar minded people arises. According to the CBRE research, 78% of respondents see the quailty of the workplace as a key factor when choosing an employer. While salary and benefits remain the main draw when considering a job, when money is removed from the equation, work/life balance stands out along with other factors such as better office environments. In fact, 69% of respondents said that they would would be willing to give up other benefits for a better office environment, underlining the increasing pressure on developers and landlords to create the optimium work environment for attracting and retaining top talent.

About CBRE

CBRE Group, a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2016 revenue). The Company has approximately 75,000 employees and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices worldwide (excluding affiliates). CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services including project management; property management; investment management; valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting and research and consulting. In the Czech Republic, CBRE has almost 350 employees and manages nearly 70 commercial premises with a total area nearly 1.2 mil. sq. m. Read more at