Let’s talk about home entertainment for a minute. No, I’m not talking about the plethora of bad reality shows that often grace my television screen. I’m talking about real life home entertainment.
The ability to host a gathering of your best friends or the excitement one has when taking over a family holiday meal hits the sweet spot for the older Millennial consumer.
Entertaining at home is like the perfect storm of get-togethers — people can bring kids; it’s more laid-back; it’s affordable for those who have just purchased their first homes or are still saving for one; and it gives older Millennials a chance to show off their domestic side.
This group of people are buying their first — or forever — houses and are making the investment in all of the tools they are going to need to host dinner parties, brunches and cocktail soirees.
Speaking of investments, in the grilling report, we spoke to Bob Kratchman, co-owner of Cherry Hill, NJ-based Kitchen Kapers. He said that as Millennials are making one big purchase – a new house — and are taking that opportunity to make another big purchase — a Big Green Egg. Kratchman said that he feels new homeowners are making this investment because the product has become a status symbol. It fits perfectly in their new outdoor living space, they know they’ll use it often, hosting get-togethers or just cooking at home, and they’ll save money on eating out because they can create a quality meal in their home.
The home entertainer is real and it’s a growing consumer. It’s not just engaged couples, either, looking to fill their registry. It’s anyone in this age bracket moving from their urban dwelling (often with roommates) to a more sophisticated, adult environment. But, in order to reach this consumer, you need to think a little bit outside the box. It’s not about one specific product — it’s about how to bring the overall entertaining experience to their homes, something many are doing for the first time. And, not only are they doing it for the first time, but they are trying to take it to a new level.
For example, in our coffee and tea report (see story on page 20), we explored the many uses of tea that are really giving the beverage forward momentum. What started in the hospitality industry — tea-based cocktails in restaurants and afternoon tea service in hotels — has now made its way into the homes of Millennials. While lots of stores have their products merchandised by category – the tea is in the tea section and the tea pots would be amongst other tabletop items or even with coffee accessories — imagine how much more inspiring it would be to show off a mock afternoon tea service on a merchandising table? Not only could it spark an idea for entertaining, but it may also entice them to buy that new, cute little teapot, especially if they are going to be showing it off to mom.
And weekend brunches, too, have migrated from the trendy gastropub down the street to the dining room tables of Millennials in their 30s (see story on page 30). Getting a peek at a merchandising table containing all of the things they would need to throw a brunch could inspire them to host such a party — a retailer giving suggestions for easy, yet delicious dishes or an effortless signature cocktail to serve friends would inspire them even more.
This group of people is already hard enough to get into your store. They have the ability to get what they want, when they want it from the comfort of their desks and couches. But if they know they’re going to leave your store feeling inspired and prepared, it will have been worth the extra effort on their part.
So, continue to find ways to inspire them. That will bring them to you and keep them coming back.