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Amid the holiday shopping season, we can’t talk about consumer spending without talking about demographics. At each part of our lives we spend differently, so if the goal is to identify the companies that will benefit most from consumer spending, we must analyze the population statistics first. Here’s some very compelling demographic statistics that will benefit blue chip brands: the 30 to 50 age group is growing for the first time in 30 years. This large cohort is in their prime earning and spending years, which bodes well for consumption capacity for years to come. Then there’s the $35 trillion to $40 trillion in wealth trickling down from the elderly to my generation, Gen X and then Millennials. Gen Z is similar in size as the Millennials, so this is the first time we have seen back-to-back large population groups roll through the economy.

Here’s a few great stats from Morgan Stanley Research: “Labor force trend lines also support consumption growth into the 2030’s that could mirror those last seen during the peak working years of the Baby Boomers…We project trend consumption growth moves up steadily to average 2.5% into the 2030’s, driven by Millennials and then Gen Z, moving through their prime working years”. This is a tailwind held by very few other countries around the world. The Millennial generation in aggregate is currently the same age as the Baby Boomers were in 1982 at the beginning of the most prolific economic and stock market boom of our generation (1982-2000). Here’s the estimated spending for the holiday’s by demographic.


  • Millennial spending favorites
  • Gen Z spending favorites

Demographics Matter (image source: Kasasa.com)

Millennials – Current age range is 25 to 39 and roughly 80 million people.

Consider today’s blog as your interactive shopping experience with links provided. Who knew you could have a read and get your shopping done at the same time!

Millennials like streaming over cable, social media, shopping online, experiences, ride sharing, health and wellness lifestyles, athleisure, technology products, streaming and subscription services, eating out with a healthy bias, playing video games, mobile payments, music, saving money, and vanity products from Ulta Salon & Beauty Sephora Mac cosmetics.

Given these preferences, we looked into our Brand Relevance Engine and identified the Brands that are resonating most with the Millennials. I expect these Brands to have a strong holiday season:

Lululemon should be a key winner.  The brand isn’t just for women anymore, kids, Boomers and men love the brand too. Stores have been packed this holiday season and the international growth is still in its infancy. https://shop.lululemon.com/

Nike should also be a big winner this holiday season as the fitness and wearables space heats up. Like LULU, this is a global opportunity to serve multiple demographic groups. https://www.nike.com/

Instagram (Facebook owned) is gathering momentum as well and is building a frictionless e-commerce capability by allowing consumers to view an item, click the image and go directly to a retailer for the purchase. When a merchant removes all the friction associated with purchasing, big things happen. I did a test of my Instagram feed this weekend and could have done all my holiday shopping inside of the app. That’s powerful.

Apple is sure to have a great holiday season as the demand for AirPods and the new noise cancellation AirPods are getting great reviews. We also have the new iPhone, MacBooks, iPads and watches too. Apple is truly the world’s most impressive consumer products brand. Apple AirPods

Stitchfix is an emerging online fashion apparel service that uses artificial intelligence and deep client profiles to match consumer preferences with ideas from professional personal stylists. They reported a strong earnings report Tuesday, December 10. Browse Stitchfix

Spotify should be a great holiday play. Who doesn’t want the gift of a yearly subscription to the most important streaming music company on the planet? You can buy concert tickets inside the app as well as finding your favorite podcasts. The average consumer spends 4 hours a day listening to music. Here’s a link that offers you a free three months to the premium service. Join Spotify

The only department store that matters today is Nordstrom. They own the category and run the only stores with a great in-store experience and great deals online. Nordstrom

Gen Z – 0 to 24 years old with roughly 75 million people

Kids today do not know a world without technology, smart phones, video games, or online-everything. With two generations supremely focused on blurring the lines between the real world and the one on their phones, there’s a long tailwind for consumer technology brands via hardware, software, and social media. From a holiday shopping perspective, the brands most well positioned continue to be those focused on video gaming, social media sites, e-commerce and fast fashion trends.

Nintendo could be the biggest holiday beneficiary with a tie from Apple. They are already having a very busy holiday selling season with the Nintendo Switch console. It’s for the home or on the go and it’s selling out everywhere. My daughter is begging me for the Ring Fit Adventure game which, I have to say, is pretty cool. It has you exercising while you go through the game scenes. Here’s a link from Best Buy that also offers you a $30 e-gift card with Switch. Best Buy – Nintendo Switch link

Dicks Sporting Goods should be a key winner for the holidays. Dicks is by far the largest retailer dedicated to sports and equipment. This theme is particularly important for younger people and some things just need to be tried on for the right fit. Today they were doing another flash sale with up to 50% off certain items. Check it out: Dicks Sporting Goods

Disney+ has experienced an enormous ramp in subscriber growth since the launch a month ago. This makes a wonderful stocking stuffer as well. Disney’s content between Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic is unrivaled. Estimates are for 20 million subscribers by year end. Verizon customers get a year free of Disney+ Verizon + Disney  and you can do a free trial or sign up here: Disney Plus Info & sign up

Bottom Line on Holiday Shopping

The bottom line on holiday shopping is that the under 50 crowd seems to be the net beneficiaries from spending by Gen X and Boomers. In addition, there are some clear themes consistent across Millennials and Gen Z. It’s also noteworthy that E-commerce continues to be where the growth is coming from. In conclusion, familiarity breeds content and the most relevant and recognized brands will again be strong winners.

This information was produced by and the opinions expressed are those of the author as of the date of writing and are subject to change. Any research is based on the author’s proprietary research and analysis of global markets and investing. The information and/or analysis presented have been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable, however the author does not make any representation as their accuracy or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use hereof. Some internally generated information may be considered theoretical in nature and is subject to inherent limitations associated therein. There are no material changes to the conditions, objectives or investment strategies of the model portfolios for the period portrayed. Any sectors or allocations referenced may or may not be represented in portfolios managed by the author, and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for client accounts.  The reader should not assume that any investments in sectors and markets identified or described were or will be profitable. Investing entails risks, including possible loss of principal. The use of tools cannot guarantee performance. The charts depicted within this presentation are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of future performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.