Shopping Habits: A Millenial vs. A Baby Boomer


At Sharn Enterprises, Inc., our goal is to design and manufacture a custom POP display that fits your marketing and visual merchandising needs.  We also find it a best practice to stay current with industry and shopping trends.  How better to do so than to interview two ends of the shopping spectrum; our resident 23 year-old fashionista/Marketing Intern Chelsey Heft, and the president of Sharn Enterprises, Inc./POP expert, Roger Wandersee.  These two have many reasons to go out shopping, and some reasons intertwine and others differ.  One thing both parties have in common? Find out for yourself below:

 (#1)  How would you describe yourself as a shopper and consumer?

Female Millennial: I am the type of person who is organized, goal-oriented and also happens to shop on a regular basis.  You could say I am your typical “girly-girl” but I am very simplistic; I enjoy the simple things in life. When it comes to the color of my clothing, I usually stick with neutral colors that don’t stand out.   What I purchase also depends on where I am shopping at and how it’s presented.

Male Baby Boomer: I am an “aging male baby boomer” and since I am in business, I try my best to stay current.  I try to look as good as I can for my age, but my wife buys most of my clothes and other necessities because she has much better taste than me.

(#2) What kind of “mood” are you in when you shop for different occasions, and how does that affect your choice?

FM: There are times when I go out shopping and I don’t exactly need clothing; it’s more along the lines of household items. Whenever I am out shopping for household items, I find that if I have a budget, I always end up going a tad over.  I go for the name brands and the quality rather than what is the cheapest on the shelf.  Same goes for shoes and clothing.

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MBB: I don’t like to shop for my own clothes, because I’m not good at it.  So when I do shop for myself, I’m usually not happy about it.  Surprisingly, I like to grocery shop.  I suppose that’s because I like to eat.  I often ask my wife if she needs anything from the grocery store, so I get what’s on her list and a bunch of other stuff that I just saw and wanted.

(#3) Regarding clothing, I noticed that some stores put matching women’s outfits together, while other stores don’t.  How does that affect you while shopping?

FM: If there is an area in the store that is well put together, it is more likely that I will lean towards that brand because of how the company has put their products on display.  If I cannot find any other outfits that “speak” to me, then I am probably going to move on.

MBB: I really prefer clothing stores that put matching products together.  I’m kind of a guy who needs to see something together to “get it.” If I have to figure out a match, I usually pick out one piece, and then ask the sales person to help me match it.

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(#4) When shopping, do you find it helpful when a sales associate is there to help? Many large stores have done away with it.

FM: Most times I don’t need help finding clothing or outfits that go together.  However, when it comes to fixing up a room in my house, I definitely ask for help.  It is nice to know that associates in stores are willing and able to help. With smaller boutiques, I’ve noticed the employees are very willing to help you right when you walk in.

MBB: I resent not being helped! I don’t much care for “self-serve.” It seems like only the “high-end” or home improvement stores offer individual help anymore. If I’m not looking for help, I will shop online.

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(#5) What are your views on shopping online?

FM: I don’t like shopping online.  You never really know what you’re going to get until you’ve already received it.  However, if I do shop online for a product, I always read the reviews.  If you don’t read the reviews, you could end up with a bad product.  I find that when purchasing items via the internet, American-made items are one’s that last much longer, compared to the items that are made elsewhere.  I feel that when purchasing an American-made product, it is money well spent!

MBB: I like to shop on the internet if I’m looking for a specific product and likely won’t have questions.  Such things as a book, flowers, candy, etc. that you’re sending to someone as a gift are examples.  Most of my internet shopping is around Christmas.  If I know exactly what I want to buy, then I just go online and get it. It helps me avoid the malls.

(#6) Are you willing to pay more for convenience and the speed of the transaction?

FM: If I am in a rush and need to be in and out rather quickly, sure, I will spend a little more. On any other given day, I would have to say that I wouldn’t spend more because of the convenience.  You never want to buy something just because “you had to have it.” Always keep in mind the longevity of the product, clothing item, and/or shoes being bought.

MBB: Being a “baby boomer,” price is not important.  As you know from the news media, we “baby boomers” only care about ourselves! (Just kidding) Of course price is important, but like most other people, I will pay a little more sometimes for convenience.

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(#7) How important is the visual and what attracts you to a particular product?

FM: If there is a good display that makes the clothing look more enticing, that is what causes me to think “Wow, I want to buy that!” There is great importance to being visual. Just like with food, we eat with our eyes first.  If we see something that looks appealing, we are more likely to eat it or in this case, purchase it.

MBB: Many of us old guys lack imagination, so the visual is very important to us. We like to see how things go together, or perhaps how they work. Many displays now come with some type of video that helps demonstrate the product. A well thought-out display is also good for the merchant because it keeps the products together and utilizes valuable store space.

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(#8) When do you “roam” a store versus getting in then getting out? Why?

FM: When I know I am on a time crunch, I am in and out and get what I need.  On the flip side, when I know that I have time, I roam around and do some window shopping.  It’s always nice to be able to walk and look around.  In a sense, it’s almost relaxing.

MBB: I only roam around when I grocery shop. I’m looking for that next best thing for the grill, or the special snack I want after dinner.

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As a business, it’s important to know your customers. Who do you appeal to?

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For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com  

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14 Facts About Halloween


Halloween has snuck upon us once again.  In my case, I have wonderful ideas in February about “what I want to be” but once it hits mid-October, I have no costume in place.  I end up going to a Halloween party dressed in a football jersey and going as a “football player.”  How original, am I right?

Dressing up for Halloween and participating in fun fall activities had me thinking.  Why do we dress up as someone (or something) else, go to haunted houses to be scared on purpose, and ask our neighbors for candy?

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Well, the answers can be found right here, along with some other interesting facts on the second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

Here are a few facts about one of the best holidays, Halloween!

1. Its origins stem 2,000 years ago from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain which was the celebration of the end of harvest season in Gaelic culture. It was the time used by the ancient Pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. #WinterIsComing

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2. The Gaelics believed that on October 31st, the boundaries between the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life.  This would cause mayhem such as sickness and damaged crops.

3. To ward off the evil spirits, they decided to dress up in animal heads, skins, costumes, and masks.

4. Fast forward to 609 A.D. when Pope Boniface created All Martyrs Day which evolved into All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on Nov. 1. Catholics fused elements of Samhain, which lead to All-Hallows Eve, then to what we know it as today, Halloween.

5. Bobbing for apples originated with the Romans around 43 A.D.

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6. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the traditional holiday in the 1800s to America, but it wasn’t until after 1947, did the holiday really take off.

7. Americans spend $6 billion each year on Halloween.

8. Combined, $4 billion is spent on costumes, decorations and parties. The other $2 billion is on candy.

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9. The original jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips, beets, and potatoes.

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10. A Halloween full moon is rarer than a white Christmas (We will have to wait until 2020 for the next one.)

11. Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

12. In 2010, 72.2% of those surveyed by the National Retail Federation will hand out candy, 46.3% will carve a pumpkin, 20.8% will visit a haunted house, and 11.5% will dress up their pets.

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13. There’s a $1,000 fine for using or selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween.

14. The most popular Halloween costumes of all time are a witch, a vampire, a ghost, Frankenstein’s monster, and a cat!

From everyone here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc, we hope every has a safe and spook-tacular Halloween!

For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com, follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook!

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Back to School: Real World Experience Matters


For some of us, the start of a new school year is right around the corner.  It’s an exciting time and I am reminded of all the feelings I had associated before my first day of school for any given year.

The questions of, “What am I going to wear on my first day?”  “What will my teachers be like?”  “Will I have some friends in my classes?” in addition to countless other worries running through my head.

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When it came to the actual learning aspect of schooling, though, I was excited for some things and loathed others.  It seemed like some of my classmates were just natural at going to school, and did not have any troubles succeeding.  In other cases, some of my classmates were not as enthralled in school as they maybe should have been.  As for me, I was right in the middle limbo of hating school and loving it.  This is where the educational divide comes in.

This imaginary line is drawn once high school is over, and it means that a student will need to choose whether to go off to college or delve directly into work. Sydney%20internship%20student%202

Nothing is wrong with either choice, but America needs both.  It seems as though the general work place has changed.  There’s more computer operated machinery and equipment, a higher level of math skills required, less inventory to work with and more “just in time” requirements set by customers.  With the higher expectations of employers, there comes more of a need for a higher level of education, either by a college or a trade school.

Sharn Enterprises recognizes that both experience and education are crucial in the evolving workplace of today.  By hiring different types of interns at Sharn Enterprises, a student benefits by gaining real world experience and also by getting credit for it at the same time.  We offer internships in the fields of marketing, accounting, computer-aided drawing (CAD), and welding.  By offering a variety of internships both for trade schools and universities, we can help mold a student’s education to help them succeed in the future, whatever their career choice might be.

trade schoolBy partnering with local schools, your business can help to mentor a student and boost their opportunity for success.  Our tax dollars pay for career services, job screening, work-related seminars etc., so why not utilize them?

What our country needs, if we are once again going to become a manufacturing giant, is a well-educated, well-rounded workforce.  A lot of that education comes from a classroom, but the most important part of learning comes from actually being on the job.

A formal college is not the only place where a student can flourish and grow.  Trade schools, licensing programs, and even on the job training is often the right formula for success.  Whatever your business, do yourself a favor and mentor a student!

Check out this educational infographic below:

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For more information about Sharn Enterprises, Inc, make sure to check out http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715.

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