Fortunate enough to be able to learn about Gen Z every day at home.
Photo: Darren Croke

Kids light up the world, and today more than ever they have their own voices and opinions. And, if you think Millennials made an impact, batten down the hatches for Gen Z—by 2020, this massive generation will account for 40% of all consumers in the U.S.

While targets on age range vary from source to source, many pinpoint Gen Z as born between 1997 and 2012—today between the ages of 7 and 22. They have been described as independent, self-confident, and autonomous—who are the members of this behemoth cohort? A few choice tidbits:

  1. Diverse. Roughly half of the Gen Z population is nonwhite, according to a report in Forbes.
  2. Frugal. Members of Gen Z tend to be more financially conservative (half prefer to do banking face-to-face with a teller) and they are bargain hunters—about 55% are increasing the amount of time spent in dollars stores and mass merchandisers, according to research from WSL Strategic Retail.
  3. Old School. A survey from Morning Consult revealed that 45% of Gen Zers say they shop more at malls now than five years ago, and just 30% say store/retail loyalty programs appeal—80% prefer free delivery as a perk.

In this kid-centric issue, we sit down with rocker Gwen Stefani to learn about the new boys’ collection inspired by her son, Zuma.

In this issue, we look into the unique style leanings of Gen Z (and the coolest roundup of new specs for them) with our 11-page kids’ eyewear fashion feature—Style, Curated—starting on page 42. We hope it helps you curate your own best back-to-school mix.

On page 28 in our Staff Training column, learn how to train your own staff to work effectively with children—and their parents. On page 40, check out NJ Eye and Ear’s new, cool digs complete with a dedicated kids’ section and play area—plus a cafĂ© serving lattes and plant-based pastries.

Lastly, not to be missed in this important era of myopia management communication, is our Kids + Myopia feature, starting on page 62. With the statistics bearing out an incredible rise in myopia across the country (and around the world), we check in with two O.D.s on how they’re dealing with myopia progression and digital eye strain.

We hope you enjoy this special issue!

Erinn Morgan,
Editor-in-Chief + Editorial Director