Student Watch 2002 Looks to the Future

Mar 12, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A study, Student Watch 2002, from the National Association of College Stores offers retailers insights into the shopping behaviors of 18 – 22 year olds.

According to a press release on the study, these consumers are “convenience-oriented and price conscious, and will expect not only a good variety of products but pleasant interactions with employees in retail establishments. Brand names and the ability to order special items hold particular appeal for male students; females are more discriminating about speed during check out and the store’s projection of a fun shopping environment.”

Grocery is the outlet visited most often by both college age men and women. Females make greater use of discount stores and other outlets searching for deals.

Both sexes are online shoppers with 83.5 percent expressing happiness with their latest online purchases. Males make greater use of the Internet for shopping purposes with 79 percent report having bought something online compared to 69 percent of female students.

Scott Giesler, executive director of the National Association of College Stores Foundation said, “Retailers, marketing experts and others have historically tracked college students’ purchasing behaviors because of their ability to influence and even predict mainstream consumer values. Students often form habits in college that lay the groundwork for life-long purchasing behaviors. Quality research on their shopping preferences can provide a good indication of where the general population’s shopping habits are headed.”

Moderator’s Comment: Are the shopping habits of college
age consumers a good predictor of future mainstream purchasing behavior?

By the time these 18 – 22 year olds reach forty-something,
they will be the Influentials discussed in today’s RW piece, Influential
10 Percent Drive Sales
. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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