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Updated May 28, 2015 - 7:20 pm

Renting, not owning, a growing trend among millennials

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A Reuters report indicates that a growing number of millennials have turned to renting, instead of owning, in the retail industry.

Thanks to popular companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Spotify and others, renting behaviors have become more and more prevalent among 18 to 34-year-olds thanks to factors such as rising student loan debt and the recession of the job market.

In an interview conducted by, Grace Ehlers of The Robin Report hints that minimalism has pervaded millennial culture.

“Never mind buying a second home when you can rent a chateau in France on Airbnb for $200. Why hire a chauffeur when they don’t come with an app that tracks their relative location to yours, like Uber?” Ehlers said. “Even owning the latest album of your favorite band feels a lot less appealing when you can stream it immediately on and offline with a Spotify pro membership, without taking up any space on your hard drive.”

It’s why retailers are concerned that this trend could become commonplace when it comes to purchases made for clothing. With an increasing percentage of millennials opting to live in more densely populated urban areas instead of the suburbs, there is less room for clothes and other goods.

Additionally, with online reviews being accessible before virtually any online purchase is finalized, millennials have developed more “discriminating” tastes, according to Business Insider.

“Sharing is here to stay,” Doug Stephens, author of the blog Retail Prophet wrote.

“Whether you’re a car rental company, hotel brand, hard goods retailer or anyone else trying to sell something that can otherwise be shared, you’re going to face a choice, as the level of collaborative consumption increases,” Stephens said. “Accept a loss of sales, fight your customer’s right to share or find a way to participate and benefit from this new economic sector.”


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