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Cost-Conscious Millennials Turn to Do-It-Yourself Car Care, Reports NPD

A store-level analysis of sales from more than 18,000 U.S.-based auto parts stores tracked by NPD’s Aftermarket Industry Monitor, showed that stores in a cluster identified by having a high Millennial population achieved higher dollar sales per store in several key application parts categories. Overall, dollars per store for total hard parts in the high Millennial cluster were 11 percent higher than in the cluster of stores with a low Millennial population, NPD says.

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HOUSTON ─ Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1994 and representing the largest generation of car drivers since the 1960s, have been hard hit by the recession and are increasingly turning to do-it-yourself (DIY) maintenance and repair to keep their autos running, according to recent automotive aftermarket research by The NPD Group.

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A store-level analysis of sales from more than 18,000 U.S.-based auto parts stores  tracked by NPD’s Aftermarket Industry Monitor, showed that stores in a cluster identified by having a high Millennial population achieved higher dollar sales per store in several key application parts categories. Overall, dollars per store for total hard parts in the high Millennial cluster were 11 percent higher than in the cluster of stores with a low Millennial population, NPD says. In addition to hard parts, the high cluster stores did better in light application categories like filters and spark plugs. The analysis, which was based on retail channel sales reflecting higher levels of DIY activity among Millennials, also found higher sales of hand cleaners and hand tools in high Millennial stores.

“Having lived through tough economic times and being one of the age groups most impacted by it, Millennials may remain cost-conscious for a long time and, as a result, could represent a new era of DIY repair,” said David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD’s automotive aftermarket business unit. “Gaining a better understanding of what Millennials are likely buying today will enable marketers to position their brands, stores, and services for what could be a lifetime of car care purchasing by 65 million influential young drivers.”

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To hear what a Millennial consumer says about his car care attitudes, click here.

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