These messages can be sobering for the industry, but they serve as something of an impromptu focus group of how young people view our business and provide some insight on its current challenges. We are caught in a demographic vice: Boomers are retiring/dying, Gen X-ers have money but no numbers, while millennials have numbers but no money (and are fickle, regardless). When you add in e-commerce, heavy debt, income inequality, the aftereffects of the fiscal crisis, and an unstable world, it’s not surprising this industry—and the rest of retail—is feeling challenged. Things may perk up in a few years as millennials mature. In fact, given the millennial generation is even bigger than the baby boomers, we may see a nice upturn. But that’s not where we are now, and it’s important to recognize that.
- Rob Bates of JCK on Twitter discussion of The Economist's question: "Why aren't mIllennials buying diamonds?"