Gen Z keeps confounding Corporate America. They've shunned beer, they want companies to take political stands and they trust Kardashians to make their makeup choices. But perhaps the biggest surprise about this new cohort of teenagers is the most unexpected of all: They love the shopping mall.
Around 95% of them visited a physical shopping center in a three-month period in 2018, as opposed to just 75% of millennials and 58% of Gen X, according to an International Council of Shopping Centers study. And they genuinely like it; three-quarters of them said going to a brick-and-mortar store was a better experience than online, ICSC found.
"There's always been this assumption that as you go through the age spectrum, the younger consumer that has grown up with online and digital and is very savvy would shun physical experiences," said Neil Saunders, an analyst at GlobalData Retail. "But actually that's not turned out to be the case."