Detailed Findings and Methodology
A number of well-established traits of young American adults may help explain the brands that make up this list. For example, a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that millennials are about 30% more likely eat in bars or restaurants than any other generation. Restaurants also rank prominently on this list. Of the 20 most popular stores among young adults, five are either a restaurant or specialty food retailer.
While there are dozens of chain restaurants nationwide, those on this list — along with retailers in other industries — managed to distinguish themselves from the pack. For many, that means taking on social and environmental causes.
For example, Chinese American restaurant Panda Express donates food to those in need both locally and globally. Fast food chain Chick-fil-A sources its employee uniforms through sustainable practices. Clothing retailer Gap is working to reduce its company’s carbon footprint and improve working conditions in its factories.
Many of the companies on this list make themselves highly visible through massive advertising budgets. Companies like Apple, Macy’s, and The Gap Inc., have advertising budgets in the billions and hundreds of millions, and much of that spending goes to mediums widely consumed by millennials.
The difference in the types of companies on this list and those most popular among Americans 55 and older further highlights the shopping preferences of young adults. For example, six of the 20 most popular stores among older Americans are grocery stores or grocery wholesalers. Meanwhile, there are no grocers on this list.
To determine the nation’s most popular stores among millennials, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data provided by data service company Placed Insights, which calculated the percentage of Americans 13 and older who visited various stores in May 2018. The shares of men and women visiting these stores also came from Placed Insights. Stores were ranked on the percentage likelihood that a shopper in the 18 to 34 age demographic would visit a store compared to the general consumer population. We also reviewed U.S. sales and store count data reported in recent company financial documents.