Hot Stuff

Gen X

According to American Demographics, there are approximately 44 million Gen Xers in the nation. So why have they been so overshadowed by other groups for the past couple years? Obviously, because we're so caught up in teendom. That's why you, the entrepreneur, need to learn from the mistakes of many of the boomers, who completely missed their cue to market to this segment, sadly dubbing them the Slacker Generation.

Too bad for them, because now Xers are typically known as a well-educated bunch with money to spend-garnered from investments or money saved during the extended waiting period to start families.

Now that many have their nest eggs-and nests-in place, consumer categories like children's clothing, home furnishings and hip maternity wear continue to grow. Again, online appears to be the destination for Gen-X shoppers seeking an alternative to malls. We've seen everything from Euro-babywear and fashionable maternity clothing dealers (http://www.estyle.com) to online retailers touting mid-century modern furniture.

Whatever the product, it needs to enhance, not complicate, Xers lives. Remember, this recession-addled latch-key generation grew up in turbulent times of its own.

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This article was originally published in the December 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hot Stuff.

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