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Home Depot Panics Over Millennials; Forced To Host Tutorials On Using Tape Measures, Hammering Nails

Zero Hedge – by Tyler Durden

As wall street analysts celebrate the coming of age of the millennial generation, a group of young people who were supposed to lead another revolutionary wave of consumerism if only they could work long enough to escape their parents’ basement, retailers like Home Depot are panicked about selling into what will soon be America’s largest demographic…but not for the reasons you might think. 

While avocado resellers like Whole Foods only have to worry about creating a catchy advertising campaign to attract millennials, Home Depot is in full-on panic mode after realizing that an entire generation of Americans have absolutely no clue how to use their products.  As the Wall Street Journal points out, the company has been forced to spend millions to create video tutorials and host in-store classes on how to do everything from using a tape measure to mopping a floor and hammering a nail.

Home Depot’s VP of marketing admits she was originally hesitant because she thought some of their videos might be a bit too “condescending” but she quickly learned they were very necessary for our pampered millennials.

In June the company introduced a series of online workshops, including videos on how to use a tape measure and how to hide cords, that were so basic some executives worried they were condescending. “You have to start somewhere,” Mr. Decker says.

Lisa DeStefano, Home Depot vice president of marketing, initially hesitated looking over the list of proposed video lessons, chosen based on high-frequency online search queries. “Were we selling people short? Were these just too obvious?” she says she asked her team. On the tape-measure tutorial, “I said ‘come on, how many things can you say about it?’ ” Ms. DeStefano says.

And just in case you think we’re joking and/or exaggerating, here is Home Depot’s tape measure tutorial in all its glory:

Meanwhile, Scotts Miracle-Gro has been forced to start training classes to remind frustrated millennials, who can’t seem to keep their flowers alive, that plants need sunlight to grow (apparently not a single millennial ever took biology in grade school).  Commenting on the tutorials, a defeated VP of Corporate Affairs, Jim King, admitted “these are simple things we wouldn’t have really thought to do or needed to do 15 to 20 years ago”…sorry, Mr. King this is your life now.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has started offering gardening lessons for young homeowners that cover basic tips—really, really basic—like making sure sunlight can reach plants.

“These are simple things we wouldn’t have really thought to do or needed to do 15 to 20 years ago,” says Jim King, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Scotts. “But this is a group who may not have grown up putting their hands in the dirt growing their vegetable garden in mom and dad’s backyard.”

“They grew up playing soccer, having dance recitals and playing an Xbox,” says Scott’s Mr. King. “They probably didn’t spend as much time helping mom and dad out in the yard as their predecessors or their predecessors’ predecessors.”

Companies such as Scotts, Home Depot Inc., Procter & Gamble Co. , Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s West Elm and the Sherwin-Williams Co. are hosting classes and online tutorials to teach such basic skills as how to mow the lawn, use a tape measure, mop a floor, hammer a nail and pick a paint color.

Unfortunately, at least for the Home Depots of the world, millennials now represent the largest demographic in America with 4.75 million 26 year olds roaming the streets of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles without a clue as to how to use a tape measure.

The biggest single age cohort today in the U.S. is 26-year-olds, who number 4.8 million, according to Torsten Slok, chief international economist for Deutsche Bank . People 25, 27 and 24 follow close behind, in that order. Many are on the verge of life-defining moments such as choosing a career, buying a house and having children.

Millennials as a whole are America’s latest demographic bubble, overtaking the baby boom generation and, like them, transforming popular culture, retailing, media and lifestyles. They make up about 42% of all home buyers today, and 71% of all first-time home buyers, according to Zillow Group . Some 86% of millennial home buyers reported making at least one improvement to their home in the past year, more than any other generation, Zillow says.

While we have our doubts that it will save their business, retailers like J.C. Penney and West Elm are trying to adapt to the millennial generation by offering basic in-home services like installing televisions or hanging wall art.

J.C. Penney Co. says the group is willing to hire others for projects. The retailer has pushed into home services, including furnace and air-conditioning repair, water-treatment systems and bathroom renovations, and expanded its window-covering installation.

“They’re much more of a ‘Do-It-for-Me’ type of customer than a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ customer,” says Joe McFarland, executive vice president of J.C. Penney stores. “You don’t need a ladder or a power drill, you don’t even have to wonder if you measured your window right.”

Home-furnishings retailer West Elm offers service packages, which start at $129, to provide plumbing and electrical work, painting, installing a television and hanging wall art and mirrors.

All that said, at least some millennials are trying to be more self-sufficient…as an example, the WSJ notes the case of 26-year-old Breanne Loes who recently borrowed her dad’s power tools to craft a wooden headboard…which went really well AFTER she realized the saw blade was on backwards.

Ms. Loes enjoys do-it-yourself projects, and two summers ago built with her now-husband a wooden headboard in her parents’ garage, with help from an online tutorial, her dad, two older brothers and their tools.

The saw wasn’t working at first because the blade was backward. “That was embarrassing,” says Ms. Loes.

Congrats, Breanne, really great job…really.

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19 Responses to Home Depot Panics Over Millennials; Forced To Host Tutorials On Using Tape Measures, Hammering Nails


    OH MY!!!!

  2. Joe says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t created an instructional video on how to screw in a light bulb or how to use hand soap.

  3. mary in ND says:

    Mexican job security

  4. Enemy of the State says:

    i have run across people of all generations, this F-ing dumb
    so its not just the Millennials , and no I’m not defending them, or a millennial , just aware at the stupidity surrounding me, and closing in …like the stop sign thread ..SMDH ,, come on people WTFUp and act like you got a dam pair

    • SNAFU (really Hal Apeeno) says:

      “i have run across people of all generations, this F-ing dumb
      so its not just the Millennials”
      I have no choice but to agree with you absolutely!

      Big buffed dudes who work out at the gym daily, who cannot even push a wheel barrel five feet.
      And that goofy pinhead, who stated his IQ is 120. The boss said, “You are banned from touching any saw here. Forever!”.
      Sometimes I stand there watching, in complete Aww!

  5. Craig says:

    I had to show Millennials at my workplace how to use a tape measure and how to use a chuck key on one of our drills. On top of how to teach them to check the oil in the forklifts they use.

    • mary in ND says:

      all of this should be known as ‘kid’ stuff……is there such a thing as shop class anymore

      • Samuel says:

        No there is not. Nor do they have home-ec anymore. My generation has failed these sissy morons. Gen X was said to be more libertarian, based on the people I knew growing up I would push the scale all the way over to liberal..just the new batch of do nothing, hippies. Then they teach their children nothing. So, now we have generation incompetent, generation has no patience, generation sissified.

  6. H D says:

    Meet the new leaders of our country were f…Ed

  7. galen says:

    This headline made me immediately laugh. Then I thought, Wow, this is so sad and really scary. Young ones don’t know what makes our society work and that puts their very survival in jeopardy. The system has failed them. Hope we can love and educate them back to competence. There’s an old African Proverb:

    “If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.”

    Save the youngins!



  8. NC says:

    Yep. I’m just sitting here watching Rome burn. Maybe if I drink enough beer I’ll forget it’s happening. Meanwhile, time to crack out another one.

  9. Henry Shivley says:

    I do not like the way the millennials are being categorized as a group.
    My millennial son Chris designed and built this machine and I’ll guarantee you all of my millennial sons can school the losers that work at Home Depot and the elitist pricks that own it.
    This is a blatant attempt to convince a generation that they are defined by the 15% who have embraced communist indoctrination.
    By the way, my son who built the machine also remodeled the house he is buying and brought me a beer a couple of weeks ago made from the hops he grew in his back yard. Don’t associate our children with the communist losers out there.

    • mary in ND says:

      excellent reminder Henry……

      • mary in ND says:

        just viewed the links…wow! proud papa you must be 🙂

        • Henry Shivley says:

          I am proud, and I think the question should be how is it that someone who can’t use a tape measure owns a home.
          And technology isn’t the reason for the situation, as my son Jesse writes computer programs, but again, he can design and fabricate anything he thinks up in his mind out of metal or wood and grow any food he desires. Of course he is a renter with a bachelor’s degree in math and physics. And of course he does, though the application of his mind, support five elitist parasites connected in the cliques who get the lion’s share of the money that is created through his work. I’m betting these assholes can’t use a tape measure, but hey, they are connected and that is what really counts in this country.

          • Cleatus says:

            Thank you Henry. this harkons back to a John rappoport article I commented on and you agreed. Something like..we’ll if these “kids” are all so dumb, how did they get there ? Who “taught” them. Again it just breaks down and further divides. Enough to make father hate son. That’s the way the zog works. Break down the family and take what chaos and scummery is left behind.

    • galen says:

      Come to think of it, my two millennials are doing just fine. Thanks, Henry, for pointing out the pluses. We have so much thrown in our face about the so-called “degenerate” youth that we forget to acknowledge those who work hard and make excellent contributions. Beautiful work there from your son. Mighty capable.


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