Millennials Drive Retail Growth


Survey reveals Gen Y are likely to make a major purchase in the next six months.

Has the decline of retail been exaggerated? The answer is yes, according to TD Bank’s Retail Experience Index, a biannual survey that tracks consumers’ purchasing habits, focusing on big-ticket items of $500 or more.

The survey, released Jan. 24 by the Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based bank, found spending is up as millennials made more major purchases in the last year and are most likely to make another major purchase in the next six months. Millennials made, on average, nearly four major purchases in the past year, while Gen X and baby boomers combined averaged just 2.8 major purchases during that time. 

“Retailers should take notice, as millennial purchasing habits are driving the retail world,” said Mike Rittler, general manager of Retail Card Services, Personal Lending and Business Development for TD Bank, in a news release.

Other survey takeaways include:

  • Furniture increases as a top major purchase. Furniture continues to be a top category of major purchases, increasing from 22% in 2017 to 26% in 2019.
  • Spending is up across the board. Americans are spending $245 more per major purchase than they did in 2017, averaging a $1,884 price tag on their last major purchase.
  • Americans’ plans to purchase have increased. Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) say they plan to make a large purchase in the next six months, up 10% from two years ago.
  • Consumers are creatures of habit. More than half (57%) of Americans always or often pick the same brand when making major purchases.