Special Report

Most Popular Stores for Millennials

Samuel Stebbins, Cheyenne Buckingham

Source: jeepersmedia / Flickr

15. Buffalo Wild Wings
> Popularity among millennials: 12% more popular than all ages
> U.S. locations: 1,240 (worldwide)
> Revenue: $2.0 billion

Of all American adults, millennials spend the least amount of money on groceries, or food to eat at home, according to a study conducted by the USDA in 2017. Millennials are also 30% more likely to eat in bars or restaurants than any other generation, according to the same report. Both of these trends may help explain Buffalo Wild Wings’ popularity among young adults. Americans ages 18 to 34 are 12% more likely to eat at the sports bar and restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings than the general population as a whole.

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14. Chick-fil-A
> Popularity among millennials: 12% more popular than all ages
> U.S. locations: 2,200+
> Revenue: $9.0 billion+

According to a report from the USDA millennials are more likely to eat in restaurants than any other generation. Chick-fil-A is one of five restaurants on this list to benefit from this trend. Adults ages 18 to 34 are 12% more likely to eat at Chick-fil-A than the general consumer.

Like several other stores especially popular with young adults, Chick-fil-A has taken on philanthropic initiatives, including providing nearly 20,000 meals to those in need in the Atlanta metro area. Additionally, Chick-fil-A employees logged over 6,300 volunteer hours in 2017 alone.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

13. Regal Cinema
> Popularity among millennials: 14% more popular than all ages
> U.S. locations: 569
> Revenue: $3.1 billion (parent company)

Box office admissions in the United States and Canada hit a multi-decade year low in 2017. An estimated 1.24 billion tickets were sold, the fewest since 1992. Industry experts point to several causes, including a growing number of in-home video-streaming options, such as Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu. Additionally, the average cost of a movie ticket is at an all time high.

Despite the industry’s unique challenges, young adults still appear willing — or at least slightly less dissuaded — to pay top dollar to see new releases on the big screen. Americans in the 18 to 34 age range are 14% more likely to see a movie in a Regal Cinema theater than the typical consumer.

Source: Joe Tabacca / Shutterstock.com

12. Macy’s
> Popularity among millennials: 14% more popular than all ages
> U.S. locations: 852
> Revenue: $24.9 billion

Macy’s is one of the most advertised brands in the United States. The department store chain spent $1.4 billion on advertising in 2017 — over half of which was through television. TV is still the most consumed video media among both millennials and older Americans alike.

Young adults are about 14% more likely to shop at a Macy’s department store than the typical consumer. Though Macy’s offers a range of products in homegoods, younger shoppers are likely sticking to the apparel department. Millennials are increasingly choosing to delay homeownership as just 47.7% of the 18 to 34 demographic are homeowners, down from 53.3% in 2006, and homegoods account for just 16% of the company’s sales.

Source: Navot Miller / Wikimedia Commons

11. Gap
> Popularity among millennials: 15% more popular than all ages
> U.S. locations: 810 (North America)
> Revenue: $15.9 billion (parent company)

Gap is a sub-brand of parent company Gap Inc., which also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic. The Gap brand accounts for just over a third of the company’s total revenue, and young adults likely account for a disproportionate share of those sales. Americans in the 18 to 34 age demographic are 15% more likely to shop at Gap than the general population.

Like several other brands on this list, Gap visibly engages in socially conscious initiatives that likely appeal to many young American adults. The company lists improving factory conditions, sustainable sourcing of products, and reducing its factories’ greenhouse gas emissions among its initiatives.