Does Black Friday Shopping Behavior Change When Millennials Become Parents?


Just when you think you’ve figured out Millennials, they start having children. Now what? Do we have to go back to the drawing board? How do marketers figure out what makes this multitasking, mobile device-juggling, work-life balancing, world-changing generation tick?

Let’s take a deep breath and start the analysis by taking a look at how Millennials shopped brick-and- mortar stores on Black Friday 2016. On a high level, Millennial shoppers were slightly less likely to make a Black Friday purchase (29.2% of households) than the average of all shoppers (32.1%).

Things change in just about every aspect of life when children are factored into the equation, and shopping behavior on Black Friday was no exception. Millennials with kids were more likely to shop in-store on Black Friday (30.0% of households) than Millennials without kids (28.7%).

Among those Millennials who did shop in brick-and- mortar stores on Black Friday, shoppers with kids in tow were bigger spenders. Millennials with kids spent $68.48, compared to $59.17 for those without kids. That’s a kid-friendly boost in spend of about 16%.

So far, it seems surprising that Millennials with kids are more likely to participate in Black Friday compared to Millennials without kids. We looked at the kinds of products being purchased on Black Friday to explain why this might be the case. Below are a list of categories, as well as the relative likelihood of each category being purchased by Millennials with kids compared to childless Millennials.


As Millennials get older and start having children, gone are the days of using Black Friday to find good deals on that killer 60-inch TV you’ve always wanted. Now, Black Friday is all about the kids – buying toys for holiday gifts and stocking up on parenting necessities.

Having kids also influenced which retailers were visited by Millennials on Black Friday. For example:

  • Walmart was a much bigger Black Friday hit for Millennials with kids (55%) than Millennials without kids (41%). Walmart’s wide assortment across categories probably give it an advantage for families who want that new stereo as well as new clothes for their toddler.
  • Millennials without kids visited drug stores more often than Millennials with kids – 13% without vs. 9% with for CVS, and 11% without vs. 8% with for Walgreens. Seemingly, Millennials without kids are opting for those low-profile Black Friday trips where they can quietly avoid long lines (and perhaps the shrieking cries of newborns).
  • Target, however, did well on all Millennial fronts. Millennial Black Friday shoppers with kids (40%) and without kids (41%) visited Target at a higher rate than all Black Friday shoppers (31%). This makes sense, considering Target’s sales track record for being a Millennial haven.

What does this all mean? Historically, Black Friday represents a unique 24-hour period in American culture when shoppers of all ages seek out bargains on exciting new products like TV sets, stereos, and video game systems. But as some shoppers move on to the next stage of their adult lives, Black Friday becomes more than just a vehicle for self-indulgence; it’s a day to stock up on everyday necessities at heavily discounted prices. So marketers, take note: on a sales day as important as Black Friday, it’s not enough just to know who your shoppers are. Knowing who else is in the household could be enough to move from the red to the black.

About the Data

Using InfoScout’s proprietary mobile apps, we captured purchase data from the receipt images of more than 3,000 Millennials who shopped at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday, and more than 77,000 Millennials who shopped at brick-and-mortar stores during the prior 52-week period. Millennial shoppers were also broken down into two groups – those with kids and without kids. Data is based on non-grocery purchases.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.

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