Another day, another article on how millennials are destroying industries. I’ve decided that this recent one from Business Insider warrants further discussion, because they fail to comprehend very simple reasons for most of the industries.

CASUAL DINING CHAINS

According to Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith, “Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants.” That range seems pretty huge. Perhaps they’re focusing more on the casual dining and less on the chains, when the reverse could be true? Because it’s only casual dining chains, and not restaurants in general that seem to be taking the hit.

BEER

The article discusses how data from Boston Beer Company and Constellation Brands suggests younger customers prefer wine and spirits to beer. However, there is mention of microbreweries or craft beer anywhere in the article – it simply talks about beer in general. It’s possible that the data is only concerning major brands.

NAPKINS

In this case, the article’s spot on in that paper towels are more versatile than napkins, and easily serve the same purpose. It has nothing to do with whether you eat meals in or out of your home.

“BREASTAURANTS”

Talking abut Hooters specifically, the chain “attempted to revamp its image with updated decor and new menu items to attract more millennial and female customers.” It has nothing to do with the decor or the menu, and everything to do with the business model. Casual dining, with the added bonus of objectifying women?

CEREAL

The article cites a statistic from Mintel that 40% of millennials say cereal is inconvenient because they have to clean up after it, despite the fact that millennials are more likely to cook at home – which involves a lot more cleanup than making a bowl of cereal. What’s more likely to be true is that cereal is incredibly expensive – here in Western MA, a box of brand-name cereal is often $4-5 if it’s not on sale.

GOLF

Simply put, millennials aren’t golfing because it’s damn expensive, between course/member fees and the cost of equipment. We can’t all be Tin Cup and get by with one club. The perception that it’s the game for rich businessman probably doesn’t help either.

MOTORCYCLES

For most of the US, you can’t really ride motorcycles for most of the year, so it becomes a secondary vehicle. Vehicles cost money, and are terrible investments, so a cash-strapped generation is likely not to make such a purchase.

HOMEOWNERSHIP

Houses are incredibly expensive. People will cite delaying marriage and children as primary reasons, but ignoring the fact that millennials move around quite a bit looking for new jobs, and the fact that equity doesn’t mean much if you don’t stay around long enough to build it.

YOGURT

The cultural shift away from “low-fat” to “low-sugar” could very well be the reason why yogurt isn’t doing as well. Then again, the article also mentioned that millennials prefer foods like yogurt over cereal, so clarification is needed. Perhaps we all just prefer bacon over everything else.

BARS OF SOAP

I actually have no arguments with the article’s statement that the belief that bars of soap being covered in germs is the reason for their decline. Although, when citing the stats, it only includes younger millennials (18-24) and those over 65 – it leaves out everyone between 25-65, which is a HUGE range. Perhaps the fact that 48% of ALL consumers share that belief doesn’t support the whole “millennials are killing everything” sentiment.

DIAMONDS

Sales of diamonds are slowing globally, not just in the US. There are two simple reasons – diamonds are incredibly expensive by artificial means, and the workforce conditions of diamond mining operations are horrible. A generation of socially conscious individuals without the money to buy expensive extras just doesn’t work well with the diamond industry. However, I’m curious if sales of cubic zirconium have slipped as well?

FABRIC SOFTENER

The head of global fabric care for Procter & Gamble stated that millennials “don’t even know what the product is for” is probably true. I have no arguments on this one!

BANKS

Business Insider states, “Millennials distrust financial establishments and rarely visit banks.” While true, banks are only open during business hours, and employers are rarely willing to let employees take time out of their shift to go to the bank. And with 30-minute lunch breaks, it’s no guarantee you can get your banking done in that period.

But, here’s what the article doesn’t discuss – nobody wants to be at the bank, whether it’s customers or staff. If you have the time to be at the bank, there’s probably something else you’d rather be doing.

DEPARTMENT STORES

The article cites the oft-repeated quote that millennials tend to spend on experiences rather than products. It also mentions saving money by buying directly from private labels – I believe this is the heart of the matter. With the prevalence of advertising directly from clothing lines that will sell directly to you, it’s easier to cut out the middle man. When people (not just millennials) shop, they are willing to pay a bit extra for convenience.

DESIGNER HANDBAGS

Lack of money to buy expensive handbags is probably the primary issue. However, there’s also the issue that the high price is solely for the name. Millennials are often touted as having little brand loyalty – if your high prices are simply because of the name attached, then younger buyers will look elsewhere for similar products.

GYMS

There’s talk about mid-market gyms and fitness boutiques, but what about the other markets? They also use gym visitsĀ as a metric, but not number of memberships. Also they use data from Foursquare? Who’s using Foursquare in 2017?

HOME IMPROVEMENT STORES

This section shouldn’t even belong in this article, as it’s speculation that millennials not buying homes couldĀ hurt these retailers. They also serve as hardware stores though, and everybody needs those – regardless of whether you own a home or not.

FOOTBALL

Millennials are certainly ditching cable at a much higher rate, and without any streaming services reliably showing football games, there’s no good metrics to measure viewership of that. However, the article cites NFL players protests during the national anthem, but not say, the absolute piss-poor track record of the NFL on domestic violence? Wrong move, Business Insider.

OIL

Any industry that comes with an expiration date, even if not within the next few years, doesn’t seem like a good investment. Oil companies would be better off also investing in R&D of other energy sources, or at least showing more of it if they already do.