By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Differences in spending habits demarcate the gap between generations and may provide retailers insight on how to target products to key demographics.

Generation Y (18-24-year-olds) have a distinctly discount driven shopping culture with more than half purchasing goods on sale, according to a national survey released this month, conducted by the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) and American Express.

The survey found that 54 per cent of 18-24-year-olds delayed making purchases ahead of mid-year sales in anticipation of price reductions, compared to only 35 per cent of 45-54-year-olds.

Electrical goods including TVs and whitegoods ranked third after entertainment and leisure as an area people of all age groups would cut spending on when feeling less confident about their spending capacity.

The survey found 47 per cent of 18-24-year-olds would cut spending on electronic goods compared to 56 per cent of 55-64-year-olds.

Jordan Struckett from JB Hi-Fi Pacific Fair said the ANRA survey concords with the spending patterns seen at the Gold Coast store.

“They [generation Y] definitely wait for specials before purchasing goods, especially TVs and cameras,” said Struckett.

“With people aged about 21-years-old the 40-47-inch plasma and LCD TVs are selling really well because they are the products on sale.”

“Older people come in for 3D TVs, some with young families, but generally older.”

ANRA chief executive Margy Osmond said the results show young people have a different approach to shopping than older Australians.

“Young people buy differently and cut costs differently to the rest of Australia. They are committed to buying on sale, reluctant to alter their lifestyle and leisure buying habits and keen to keep up with trends,” said Osmond.

Geoff Begg, vice president merchant services Australia at American Express, said much of spending in the retail sector can be attributed to deep discounting offered by retailers, a point demonstrated in the most recent Consumer Price Index figures.

“Due to the flood of sales, customers have become more savvy in the way they pay for purchases – looking for the greatest cost saving, taking advantage of benefits. While it’s great news for consumers, it is starting to take its toll on retailers,” said Begg.