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THE DAYS of typewriters, encyclo- pedias and good old fashioned letter writing have been replaced by PCs and laptops, search engines and email, making digital a way of life. And while today’s college bound stu- dents and recent graduates swear by the Internet as a resource for re- search, gaming and socializing, one thing is for certain: it is not their pre- ferred source for shopping. According to a recent survey of 310 respondents, primarily female consumers between 18 and 25, more than 68 percent indicated that they prefer to shop in stores rather than online for key items like apparel and shoes. The survey, conducted by a


group of LIM College students in conjunction with the National Re- tail Federation Student Association (NRFSA), verifi ed that online re- search was prominent among this age group. The study noted that 66 percent of the consumers surveyed used the web to browse and compare prices, but 66 percent also said they liked to think about their purchase before fi nally buying in a brick and mortar store. “Retail observers have been signifi cantly overestimating our use of online and digital tech- nology for shopping,” says Nicole Flasch-Mihalko, a member of the LIM College NRFSA team. “We like shopping in stores and are not as engaged in shopping on the Internet as many have touted. I guess the demise of the brick and mortar for- mat of retailing, at least for 18 to 25 year olds, is grossly exaggerated.” In fact, the study revealed that only 20 percent of those surveyed shop via fl ash sale sites such as Rue La La and Gilt Groupe, with a major- ity of respondents unaware of what these sites are. Another interesting fi nd revealed


by the LIM College NRFSA team involves a second look at social net- work use and what it means for the retail industry. While most college students are busy updating their status online, and many 18 to 25 year olds say they would “like” a brand on Facebook, it was discov- ered that more than 88 percent of the survey respondents say they do not yet want to shop through Facebook or Twitter. ■ This piece has been adapted from an original piece by BizReport.


20 March 2012 INDEPENDENTRETAILER


GREAT For Car Windows


NEW! Suction Cup Included


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