Who's Buying Vintage & Antiques in 2029?
Stop blaming Millennials. They are't destroying the vintage industry.
Who's your customer in 2029?
BOTH are the same, Millennials.
Since I started working shows, the awesome customer of days passed is still with us- in theory.
It was always better "back in the day." It's true. More money was spent on antiques and collectibles. Customers saw the history, quality and value. Their parents took them to flea markets. They watched Jackie decorate the White House in antiques and the Bi-Centennial in 1976 brought together history, nostalgia and antiques again. It had their attention.
Baby boomers have stopped shopping and started retiring.
They are also downsizing their parents too. The days of giant houses full of dark furniture are done. If you are in this age range, you've just moved into a condo after spending 30 years in a big house, you aren't looking to refill. ALSO, many are also downsizing their parents. So not only their things are thinned out, their parents too. This isn't to say Boomers don't want to buy anything but when you think about it, they aren't the "best" customer anymore. Other things have their attention.
Today, it's bright contemporary or midcentury style. Or whatever Elle Decor says. Decorators think it's cool if they say they have "mixed" vintage into design. OR go vintage "STYLE" (that's new).
In 2016 Millennial's became the number one earning segment in the Americas.
Millennial's are different than Boomers and not by choice.
Millennial's are waiting
They live with parents longer to save and are waiting to get married. They are waiting longer to have children. They have a more student loan debt than any other generation. This is our new customer. In 10 years Millennials will still be the number one revenue generating segment in America. They'll have more money at that point and be more established so they will have money to spend.
Big difference, today right now
The Internet is also where they go to decide what to do this weekend and get their news. It's where they go to communicate. It's EVERYTHING.
Millennials aren't dumb and they don't have bad taste
They understand our environmental issues. Do they understand the options? Do you they understand that you can get the same furnishes at lower prices that are higher quality? I don't think enough people know this.
What do we have to do?
Let's be honest. Most vintage business are not rolling in the dough. There are no adverting budgets that impact. Most that sell vintage are passionate. It takes a group of like minded people to get out a message. There are THOUSANDS of dealers out there who can explain why buying vintage can save the world. It's up to us to show them what's so great about it. The nostalgia, the unique piece with a history.
Guess who doesn't want you to explain it?
Any retailer. Do you think Old Navy wants to give up even 1 opportunity to sell a T-shirt? How about Macy's, vintage? I don't think so. Ikea? Target? NO NO NO. Resale could cut into sales. Nor do they want you to know that if you averaged it out, each year 89 lbs. of clothing is thrown away and going direction to landfills.