Kids Living With Parents Longer, Changing Shopping Patterns
Bernice Hurst, Contributing Editor, RetailWire
beware. There is a new threat to your livelihoods from young people who
are living longer with their parents and not exercising their rights
to consume. Reports in both The
the UK and The
Washington Post explain
some of the causes and effects.
British report cites a study from the Office of National Statistics (ONS)
finding that “many young adults in their mid-20s and early 30s, and especially
men, are increasingly postponing the transition to adulthood.” Blaming
it partially on the housing and job markets, the organization also found
that many simply choose to remain at home with their families. A new
term – kippers (kids in parents’ pockets) – apparently refers to those
who stay through choice.
British youngsters used to fly the nest sooner than those from other
European countries, new figures “show that 25 percent of men aged 25
to 29 now live with their parents…almost double the proportion of women
in their late 20s (13 percent) who still live at home.”
and student debt are amongst factors convincing recent graduates to return
to their parents rather than attempt to fend for themselves. Those who
haven’t gone to university are finding job and income prospects extremely
recent article in Population
researchers from Southampton University explains that “many more advantaged
young adults appear not ready to settle down during their 20s and are
likely to return to the parental home," at least until they find a long
term partner with whom to set up their own home.
Melissa Meyer, the young woman on whom The
Washington Post focuses,
failure to find a well-paying job has created unintended consequences. “She
has invented a dozen ways to say those words – ‘I don’t know'” about
her future. Instead, like many of her friends, she is planning to spend
time traveling and taking up short-term opportunities. As one says, “the
economy is almost convenient in a sick way, because everybody is off
on adventures. It’s an excuse to do whatever you want.” Often “hanging
out” in parents’ homes while they do it.
Questions: What does young adults living in their parents’ homes longer
mean for retailers and brand marketers? Are boomerang children a segment
worth targeting? Which categories do you expect will gain or lose if
the kipper trend continues?
commentary] Unintended consequences from these kippers (or boomerang
children, as they are also known by researchers) may have an impact on
retailers. With young adults delaying their purchases of products for
their homes – as well food and CPG needs met by parents – market size
may be a concern for some time to come.
- More young
adults in 20s and 30s living with parents than in past 20 years – The
- In recession,
one road led back home – The Washington Post