Jan 12, 2019

Retail's risky obsession with wealthy millennials

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millennials, now firmly in their adult years, have been blamed for “killing” everything from mayonnaise to fabric softener to department stores.

But a closer look at the data shows the emphasis on high net-worth millennials is skewing our perspective.

Why it matters: Wealthy millennials' exaggerated, idiosyncratic shopping habits fuel trends like meal-kits and grocery delivery. But in reality, these consumers represent a relatively small, yet powerful, piece of the market.

  • According to a recent Deloitte study, high-income millennials were 24% less likely than other shoppers to shop in a store, but low and middle-income millennials behave like consumers of any other generation.

Special report: The future of retail

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GOP sees more hurdles for Trump as coronavirus crisis drags on

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republicans are increasingly concerned not only about President Trump’s daily briefings but also his broader plan to ease the nation out of the virus crisis and back to work. This concern is acute — and spreading. 

Why it matters: Trump can easily address the briefing worries by doing fewer, but the lackluster bounce-back planning is what worries Republicans most. 

Pandemic forces startups to shift gears

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.

International coronavirus treatment trial uses AI to speed results

Hydroxychloroquine is one of the drugs that will be included in the trial. Photo: John Philips/Getty Images

The first hospital network in the U.S. has joined an international clinical trial using artificial intelligence to help determine which treatments for patients with the novel coronavirus are most effective on an on-going basis.

Why it matters: In the midst of a pandemic, scientists face dueling needs: to find treatments quickly and to ensure they are safe and effective. By using this new type of adaptive platform, doctors hope to collect clinical data that will help more quickly determine what actually works.

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