It’s Not Millennials Killing Your Industry. It’s Common Sense.

10.09.17 / Andy Malis / Digital Marketing

Poor millennials. Big business is so mad at them, they’re getting blamed for killing one industry after another. CEOs are singling them out for sales declines, which has led to share price declines. Oh My!

Here’s Buffalo Wild Wing’s CEO Sally Smith using millennials as a convenient excuse for the brand not making its sales targets in a recent letter to shareholders:

"Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants," Smith wrote. "Mall traffic has slowed. And, surprisingly, television viewership of sporting events (important for us, especially) is down.”

I wonder if Sally has been in a BWW lately? In my recent visit, the restaurant was dirty, the staff was uninterested and the service was slow. Not surprisingly, the place was empty. There were more TVs than customers.

Lots of categories are suffering today. And it’s not the millennials’ fault. It’s lousy products or services, bad customer service or newer, better alternatives. It’s the market at work. It’s capitalism.

Here are a few other examples of industries that are hurting and blaming millennials, courtesy of Business Insider:

Napkins. According to Mintel, only 56% of shoppers are buying napkins, while 86% purchase paper towels. Makes sense, right? They’re kind of the same thing and the paper towels have more uses.

Cereal. It’s just too much work! Breakfast is more popular than ever. But not cereal. Sales keep declining, down another 5%. It’s expensive and inconvenient. It requires pouring the cereal into a bowl, adding milk, getting a spoon and then cleaning up. Who has time for that? Grab and go is where it’s at.

Golf. I don’t think I need to explain this one. Time and attention span.

Motorcycles. I guess someone figured out that there are safer ways of getting from here to there. Especially with SUV drivers barreling down the highway while responding to their texts.

Bar soap. Icky? Germs? Mintel says almost half of U.S. consumers think so. Two words. Bath gel.

Looks like a lot of common sense to me. All people, not just millennials, are open to innovative ways of meeting their needs. Hello Uber, Netflix, Amazon. Goodbye cars and cabs, movie theaters and department stores.

As Cassius said to Brutus (via Shakespeare), “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

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