The NACDS Retail Advisory Board conducted a retail Market Immersion in Minneapolis this week with a focus on millennials.

The NACDS Retail Advisory Board conducted its 8th—and largest—Market Immersion in Minneapolis this week, continuing on a millennials-focused theme that emerged during discussions the group conducted in December. An impressive lineup of speakers sparked discussion among Retail Advisory Board participants, including representatives from Nielsen, 3M, A.T. Kearney, Enactus, the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and the 2018 Super Bowl Committee. Minneapolis will host the Big Game next year.

According to population estimates released by the Census Bureau in 2015, millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. The Pew Research Center defines millennials as ages 20-36 and baby boomers as ages 53-71. Millennials are not only the current generational majority, they are the future of retail and so the NACDS Retail Advisory Board wants to tap into their observations about the stores they visited in Minneapolis as part of the Market Immersion—Hy Vee, Target, Cubs, Byerly’s, Sam’s Club and Walgreens—and what makes them interested in retail, or consumer packaged goods, as a career.

Fifteen millennial representatives from the participating companies were part of the Minneapolis Market Immersion. They are illustrative of their peers across the country and their opinions about what they see in stores and what they find most interesting and exciting provided firsthand feedback to the retailers and manufacturers about what is currently resonating with this powerful and influential demographic.

It is essential to find out what makes millennials tick as shoppers so retailers and manufacturers can have a better understanding of how they are driving the market. Millennials have shown at every turn that they are different from their predecessors—they are more interested in travel, more in tune with technology and health and wellness, and they prize their private downtime perhaps more than any generation before them. It is imperative to know what motivates—and inspires—millennials on their trailblazing journey as the most influential shoppers on the planet, for now.