Shopko reorganizes stores to appeal to millennial moms

By Katherine Michalets- Freeman Staff

May 7, 2016

The newly renovated baby and toddler section at Shopko integrates all baby care needs in one department with clothing, diapers, hygiene, furniture, toys and more in a single section.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

SUSSEX - With most mothers a part of the millennial generation (born between the early 1980s and late 1990s), stores are taking notice and tweaking their marketing strategies, including Wisconsin-based Shopko, which has redone all of its baby sections to appeal to that age group.

Michelle Hansen, manager of public relations for Shopko and the Shopko Foundation, said after talking to customers, Shopko learned that mothers felt there were a few areas about their shopping experience that could be improved by the retailer: expanding its assortment of products and centralizing them.

Hansen said they listened and recently redid the baby sections in all 131 stores. In the baby shop, mothers and other customers can find everything they need to take care of baby: bathing items, diapers, clothing, food, etc.

“Why the change? Because we wanted to enhance our moms’ shopping trip to find what they need,” Hansen said. “We’re conducting focus groups all of the time. A need that we saw is how do we get the moms in the store? What can we do to improve their experience?”

In addition to relocating all of the baby-related items to one space in the store, Hansen said Shopko has expanded its amount of items for sale. Shopko is also refreshing the beauty departments in its stores with new signage.

“We are just freshening up our stores and making them more relevant,” Hansen said.

The Pew Research Center estimates there are roughly 75 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 34.

The National Retail Federation interviewed research Jason Dorsey for an article it published earlier this year on millennial shoppers. Dorsey told the NRF that discussion about millennials needs to start with recognition of the generation’s diversity.

“A (millennial) could be married in a two-income household with two kids, or they could be living at home with mom or three roommates,” he said. “You can’t speak to them in the same way.”

Not surprisingly, a lot of millennials make decisions on where they shop based on what they learn via mobile technology. They are also more likely to use a self-checkout at a store and make a purchase using same-day delivery, according to the NRF report.

“Time and quality of life can be more important than money for millennials,” Willy Kruh, global chairman of consumer markets at KPMG, told the NRF. “If you don’t grab them in three seconds, and if you can’t (provide) next-day delivery, they’re gone.”

Hansen said she views millennials as being busy moms who are “always trying to do more with less.”

Now with the centralized baby department, shoppers need a shorter amount of time to get what they need, Hansen said. In addition, Shopko now offers a baby registry and more value packs of items such as diapers.