TIME

Gen Y’s Secret Retail Guilty Pleasure

If you guessed Etsy or Urban Outfitters, you guessed wrong

Millennials love all things artisanal, hand-crafted and customizable, so it stands to reason that one of their top retail destinations is… Walmart?

New data about shopper patterns and preferences uncovers some interesting findings when it comes to the behemoth of Bentonville. According to an article in AdAge, “Walmart indexes higher with those under age 24 than Target, Costco, Kroger, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. It’s also rated higher than all those except Target with shoppers aged 25 to 34.”

While this doesn’t mean millennials are more likely to shop at Walmart, “It does mean that millennials spend a higher proportion of their money at Walmart than older generations,” says Jared Schrieber, co-founder and CEO of InfoScout, a company that analyzes consumers’ shopping behavior, which collected the raw data used in the AdAge article.

“[Millennials] are in the first life stage where they often have complete control over their spending,” says Jason Dorsey, millennials researcher and strategist at the Center for Generational Kinetics. It’s striking, he says, “that a traditional, established brand that gets negative press around hot button topics for millennials is still able to win a large group of millennials.”

Walmart’s CMO Stephen Quinn told AdAge, “That kind of shocks a lot of people, including inside the company.” He chalked it up to young adults’ increasingly busy lives. “As millennials become time-crunched with relationships and kids coming along, it’s opening up a strong need for them to have a one-stop shop,” he said.

Schrieber said young adults are also at a point in their lives when stores like Walmart fill a crucial need. “This is highly reflective of their life-stage in that they are establishing their own households for the first time, which results in higher proportions of spend on the household goods offered by big-box retailers such as Walmart and Target,” he says.

“Wal-Mart still has something that meets the needs of this new generation of young adults — budget-sensitive and one-stop shopping,” Dorsey says. “It will be interesting to see if as millennials grow up and their incomes increase, if Walmart is able to convert this current advantage… into long-term loyalty.”

Across all age groups, American households do about 24% of their spending on groceries, cleaning supplies, health and beauty products and the like at Walmart. Among millennials, that figure is 8% higher. “Millennials spend a higher proportion of their money at big-box retailers than other channels such as traditional grocers, drug stores or dollar stores,” Schrieber says.

The InfoScout data also shows that Gen Y hasn’t abandoned its love for Tar-jay: While the average household does 8.6% of its grocery and related items spending at Target, the average millennial household funnels 11.6% of its spending in this category to that retailer. In big data jargon, Target claims a 35% higher “share of wallet” from millennials than from shoppers overall.

TIME Race

Why Millennials Can’t Afford to Be Colorblind

Protestors Gather Against Confederate Flag
Andrew Renneisen—The Washington Post/Getty Images People gather to protest the confederate flag which flies in front of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, SC on June 20, 2015. The protest comes after the racially motivated killings of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.

Victor Luckerson is a reporter covering tech and business for Time.

'Not seeing race' allows young people to avoid dealing with the racial rancor that still surrounds us

Because we have been taught to believe in happy endings, it’s easy for young people to view racism as a problem that will inevitably be solved, or perhaps already has been. In the history books, racial progress for African Americans occurs on a comforting positive slope, evolving from slavery to Jim Crow discrimination to the post-Civil Rights era of equality under the law. And in our own lifetimes, we reached a new racial milestone when Barack Obama became the United States’ first black president, thanks in a large part to a groundswell of support from young voters of all races who were optimistic about the future.

What the history books miss is that change rarely happens in orderly progression. There are fits and starts. There are retrenchments. There are debates. Change occurs not only on the macro level, in soaring proclamations by presidents and civic leaders, but also on the micro level, through a shift in the thinking of everyday people. And big racial progress is always met with a measure of resistance–some of it passive, some of it active, some of it horrifically violent. That is what we are experiencing right now in America. That is what happened in Charleston, S.C. last month. And it isn’t going to stop just because an older generation passes away.

Dylann Roof, the man charged with murdering nine black people after being welcomed into their church service, was only 21. He was a Millennial, and while his actions don’t reflect the feelings in the hearts of most young people, it’s now our collective responsibility to address head-on the problems in our society that allow such hate to flourish.

Millennials claim to be racially progressive but are often ill-equipped to have frank discussions about race. In a 2014 survey by MTV, 91% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 said they believed in racial equality, and 72% said their generation believes more in equality than older Americans. Many of these young people see “colorblindness” as valuable measure of racial progress, with 68% saying that focusing on race “prevents society from becoming colorblind.” But only 37% of respondents were raised in households that talked about race, and just 20% of those surveyed said they felt comfortable talking about biases against specific groups.

This is the crux of the problem. Many young people take “not seeing race” as badge of honor that proves their progressivism and absolves them from engaging in discussions on the topic. Colorblindness allows you to escape the racial rancor that is playing out in our streets, on social media and now even in our churches.

But America is still a country riddled with systemic racial inequalities, and many are are becoming more pronounced, not less. Whites are now 13 times wealthier than blacks, the largest gap since 1989. Blacks are 2.5 times more likely than whites to be arrested for drug possession, even though about the same percentage of blacks and whites use drugs. Despite the promise of equal education enshrined by Brown v. Board 60 years ago, more than a third of black students in the South now attend schools that are almost fully minority and are often doubly segregated by poverty. Their issues are literally invisible to many of their mostly white peers who would never see these schools.

(MORE: Selma High School 50 Years After Bloody Sunday)

It’s not enough to assume that these problems will disappear when younger, more open minds rise to power. A recent survey by NORC at University of Chicago showed that 31% of white Millennials surveyed rated blacks lazier the whites, just one percentage point less than Gen X’ers and 4 points less than Baby Boomers. Twenty-three percent of white Millennials surveyed rated blacks less intelligent than whites, compared to 19 % of Gen X’ers. At the same time, even in 2015, the never-ending litany of racist incidents at college campuses continues, from the vulgar chant on the fraternity bus at the University of Oklahoma to the students who hung a noose on the statue of the University of Mississippi’s first black enrollee. More evidence that even among the most well-educated young people, individual racial cruelty is far too common.

There’s no one solution to these problems—but they are problems all of today’s young Americans will have to work to solve in the years ahead. As of 2014, most children under 5 in the United States are non-white. By 2043, most Americans will be. There are obvious financial and political dangers for people who ignore these demographic shifts, like presidential candidate/entrepreneur/television personality Donald Trump. He stands to lose millions of dollars worth of deals and sponsorships for calling Mexicans “rapists,” even as he draws large crowds. But there’s a collective cost as well. A world where all minorities are not granted the same opportunities and protections as white people–while attending school, while interacting with police, while praying at church–will be a world of even higher incarceration rates, health care expenses and education inequality than the one we live in today. These are economic costs, in addition to the more obvious moral ones, that will ultimately burden everyone.

It’s possible that the racial strife of the past year will change young people’s views on America’s racial challenges in a very permanent way. The Confederate flag, which Roof adopted as his own, is suddenly being removed from major retailers and sporting events, and South Carolina’s senate passed a bill to remove the flag from statehouse grounds on Monday.

Even before the Charleston shooting, a group of high schoolers I interviewed for a feature about teenage life in 2015 already seemed to have been made more racially conscious by protests in Ferguson, New York and elsewhere. “Within these last few years, you’re definitely seeing that there’s some stuff that’s still lingering, especially with the justice system,” said Lonnie Hancock, a 16-year-old at East Side Community High School in Manhattan. “Before I was kind of aloof to it. Now I feel like it kind of is more in your face that things aren’t exactly OK.”

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY Workplace

A Huge Number of Millennials Can’t Escape Work While on Vacation

What a sad, sad shame.

You’ve probably heard about the disturbing trend of American workers not taking all of their allotted vacation days. More than 4 in 10 workers say they regularly do not use all of their days, and, on average, eight vacation days go unused.

A recent TIME cover story on the disappearing American summer vacation also noted that each year, 169 million vacation days go unused and do not carry over. So they’re just wasted.

This week, the Boston Globe called attention to the results of a survey conducted for Alamo Rent a Car, which indicates that even when Americans do take vacation days, to a disturbing degree they often aren’t truly taking these days off from work. Not entirely anyway. The survey reports:

Thirty-five percent of millennials reported that they worked every day of their vacations, and felt less productive when they returned.

That’s right: More than one-third of millennial workers say never actually take an entire day off. Ever. At some point every day during their “vacations,” they work.

In previous studies, six out of ten employees admitted that they’ve conducted some work on a recent vacation. But millennials appear to be the group most compelled to stay plugged in and productive each and every day, no matter if they’re supposedly not working that week.

We’re not talking about the “workcation” trend covered recently by the Wall Street Journal, in which employees work remotely from a vacation destination. Instead, people—young people in particular—are working during times that are, on paper at least, full-fledged vacations. And as Deborah Good, a human resources management professor at the University of Pittsburgh, told the WSJ, there is a problem if employees are pressured into never truly disconnecting from work: “There may be a backlash among employees if they feel they must work all the time and can’t ever have a real vacation.”

Taking a true break from work is essential for the mind, soul, and body. Research also shows that vacations can be good for your career. Despite millennials’ concerns about feeling less productive after they get back to the office after a vacation, or other worries about what the boss might think if you’re not reachable for, like five whole days, some studies indicate that increased vacation time is linked with increased productivity at work.

It makes sense. The point of a vacation, beyond the mere enjoyment, is to come away feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on new challenges at work—like trying to convince everybody in the office they need to take a vacation.

MORE: How to Disconnect from Work (Without Getting on the Boss’s Bad Side)
Why America Should Follow Japan’s Lead on Forcing Workers to Take Vacation

MONEY marketing

10 ‘Old Person’ Brands Getting Millennial Makeovers

Awkward. Like a mom wearing her teenage daughter's clothes.

As a consumer brand’s core customer base gets older, it’s inevitable that the brand itself will start to feel old as well. Some brands embrace the shift and smoothly transition from trendy mass darling to beloved old-timey classic. More often, though, brands have a difficult time accepting that their years in the sun have faded, and that hipper, trendier labels are taking over.

What’s particularly tricky about the attempts of old-fashioned brands to remain relevant and in-demand today is that millennials are notoriously difficult to reach with traditional marketing. Nonetheless, from NASCAR to Maxwell House Coffee and beyond, we’re seeing all manner of brands launching makeovers and tweaking old products to woo millennials, with varying degrees of success—and awkwardness.

  • Maxwell House

    Maxwell House Iced Coffee concentrates
    courtesy Maxwell House

    As AdAge noted, Maxwell House coffee is 122 years old, and it’s “one of the retiree set’s favorite brands.” Instead of remaining focused on its core gray-haired customers, Kraft-owned Maxwell House has been trying to reach millennials, who love coffee but rarely brew their own at home and more rarely still drink it black. Kraft’s proposed concept to woo the flavored-coffee-loving youngsters is Maxwell House Ice Coffee Concentrates. They’re squeeze bottles that are poured over ice for instant iced coffee, in Caramel, Vanilla, and other flavors. “Think of it as Mio with caffeine,” the Chicago Business Journal explained.

  • Residence Inn

    Smores on the firepit at Marriott Residence Inn
    courtesy Marriott Residence Inn Smores on the firepit at Marriott Residence Inn

    The Marriott-owned extended-stay hotel is turning 40 in 2015, and like many turning the big 4-0 before it, the brand isn’t ready to embrace old fogey status. Instead, the chain is trying to inject some hipster cred with a new program called Residence Inn Mix, with guests encouraged to mix and mingle other business travelers on various “themed nights.”

    Local food trucks show up every other Wednesday, for instance, and there are hangouts around fire pits. A few Residence Inn locations are also testing a pilot program involving an augmented reality technology called Blippar, in which guests are presented special “beverage coasters that allow them to unlock unique interactive experiences including multi-player trivia games, customizable selfies and premium Anheuser-Busch content including suggested food and beer pairings.” Food trucks, tech rewards, selfies: What more could a millennial want?

  • NASCAR

    150630_EM_MillennialBrands_Nascar
    Phelan M. Ebenhack—AP Live music and DJs have become staples at NASCAR events.

    Why are DJs, go karts, and foam parties turning up at NASCAR races? The added side attractions are all about trying to turn the children of prototypical NASCAR Dads into NASCAR Kids. For instance, ticketholders for car races this summer at the Michigan International Speedway are simultaneously granted admission to Keloorah, a two-day festival that sounds a lot like a rave, with “live concerts, deejays, video games, tailgate games, foam parties and paint parties.”

    There are also “dedicated spaces for hanging out with your friends even into the wee hours of 3 a.m.,” the Detroit Free Press reported. The overarching idea is that while millennials might not turn up for a plain old car racing event, they’ll be intrigued with a three-day festival that includes electronic dance music and late-night partying.

  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House

    Ruth's Chris Steak House
    Helen Sessions—Alamy

    The experience at this upscale steakhouse chain—butter-topped steak served in quiet, low-lit rooms draped in dark woods—is classic. But another way of saying “classic” is old-fashioned, and perhaps out of touch with what young people want today. To boost its sway among millennials and younger diners, Ruth’s Chris is undergoing a broad “Ruth’s 2.0” renovation at as many as 15 locations this year, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Some of the dark polished wood will disappear, to be replaced with hipper (and lighter) stone. Bigger bars and more open space will be added on patios too, because, you know the youngsters like to drink and socialize.

    To avoid alienating the established clientele accustomed to the way things have always been at Ruth’s Chris, the changes will be subtle. And they’re not daring to get rid of the butter on the steaks.

  • Hyatt

    Hyatt Centric, South Beach, Miami, Florida
    Hyatt Hyatt Centric, South Beach, Miami, Florida

    Following the trend of other big travel companies introducing “hotel for millennials” concepts, Hyatt recently rolled out Hyatt Centric. The new hotel brand, with locations only in Chicago and Miami’s South Beach thus far but many more on the way, is targeted at younger customers who might otherwise use Airbnb because of a preference for city-center locations and a residential feel. Among other millennial-friendly amenities, Hyatt Centric guests always enjoy free wi-fi and are allowed to bring their pets, and the on-site lounge features “local flavors, artisanal cocktails and an occasional riff on an acoustic guitar.”

  • Chevrolet

    2016 Chevrolet Sonic RS Sedan
    Mueller/Chevrolet 2016 Chevrolet Sonic RS Sedan

    General Motors’ Oldsmobile brand was phased out more than a decade ago. But GM, and the entire auto industry for that matter, has been understandably concerned that millennials think car ownership in general is old-fashioned and out of date. To win over the millennial generation, which now accounts for one-quarter of new car sales, GM’s Chevy brand has launched huge social media campaigns not only on Twitter and Facebook, but Vine, Tumblr, Snapchat, and other “emerging” platforms. Specifically, Chevy is using social media to promote models like the Spark, Sonic, Trax, and Cruze, which are smaller, more affordable, and (presumably) more appropriate for millennials than other kinds of cars.

  • Good Humor

    Unveiling of The Good Humor Joy Squad and launch of the Good Humor Welcome to Joyhood campaign,Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York.
    Diane Bondareff—Invision for Good Humor

    On the one hand, Good Humor is using nostalgia in the form of vintage ice cream trucks to give ice cream sales a boost this summer. While that should play well with “vintage” old-timers who remember when an ice pop cost a nickel, the Unilever-owned brand is simultaneously going for younger generations with a series of brightly-colored tricked-out ice cream trucks that blare Taylor Swift and Beyonce tunes instead of the ice cream jingles of yore. Perhaps inevitably, customers will be able to place orders with iPads at the new trucks too.

  • KFC

    Colonel Sanders
    KFC KFC's Colonel Sanders

    You’ve probably noticed that Colonel Sanders has made a comeback. While the return of KFC’s white-haired founder-mascot may not seem to have anything to do with millennials, the goofball humor of the new Colonel, now played by SNL veteran Darrell Hammond, certainly seems aimed at a new generation of consumers who may largely ignore KFC’s “finger lickin’ good” food. What’s more, the revamped Colonel is part of KFC’s larger hipster makeover that includes a screwball online video game in which players make Colonel Sanders punch people in the face and bounce babies off of trampolines.

  • Goodwill

    Goodwill of Orange County
    Michelle Carrillo—Goodwill of Orange County Goodwill of Orange County

    The rise of hipper, or at least more organized thrift store chains like Savers and consignment shops has pushed stalwart thrift brands of old such as Goodwill to take a look in the mirror and try to appeal to a broader—and younger—base of consumers. A spokesman for a group of Goodwill locations in western New York recently explained that stores were undergoing upgrades such as improved lighting and more user-friendly layouts in order to attract “young families, college kids looking at getting really good branded products at a good price, do-it-yourselfers, just getting new shoppers to give us a shot.” In some cases, the buildings housing Goodwill stores have been upgraded, or are brand new construction rather than serving as the replacement when a fading retailer like Barnes & Noble or Toys R Us fails. Improvements at Goodwill stores seem to be the inspiration for upgrades to Salvation Army stores as well.

  • Pizza Hut

    150630_EM_MillennialBrands_PizzaHut
    courtesy Pizza Hut Pizza Hut Hot Dog Bites pizza

    If any group is intrigued with tasting fast food monstrosities like Pizza Hut’s new hot dog pizza, it’s millennials. They’ve come of age as full-fledged foodies who welcome spice and quickly tire of the same-old, same-old. In addition to wacky creations like the hot dog pizza, Pizza Hut has been shooting for a youth surge with a radical new menu featuring a wide spectrum of crust, sauce, and “drizzle” dipping options, as well as gimmicks like this funky pizza box that turns into a film projector.

TIME motherhood

Millennials More Supportive of Working Moms than Previous Generations

482147905
Jasper Cole—Getty Images/Blend Images RM Mother and daughter walking on city street

Much more likely to say that moms who work have just as good relationships with their kids

Working moms are getting more love than ever. Millennials are much more supportive of working mothers than young people in the 1970s and 1990s, and there’s a broader consensus that working moms can have a great relationship with their kids, according to a new study shared exclusively with TIME.

Sign up here for TIME’s weekly roundup of the best parenting stories from anywhere.

Researchers at University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University attribute the increased acceptance to a shifting social and economic realities over the last 30 years, in which there are more single moms and few can afford not to work. The study, published Monday in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, analyzed the results of two national representative studies of nearly 600,000 respondents. They found that in 2010, only 22% of 12th-graders thought young children suffered if their mother worked, down from 34% in the 1990s and 59% in the 1970s. Adults also showed an increased tolerance for working mothers, with 35% believing that a child was worse off if his or her mother went to work in 2012, compared with 68% in the 1970s.

The researchers also found that more people believe working moms can have just as good relationships with their kids as moms who stay at home. In 1977, less than half of adults agreed that “a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work.” In 2012, 72% agreed with that statement.

“When you have more working mothers, you have to have more acceptance of them,” says Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me and a main researcher on the study. “When people look around and see ‘this is what people do now,’ you have to have more acceptance.”

But in some areas, there appeared to be a bit of a backtracking. In the 1990s, 27% agreed that it was best for the man to work and the woman to stay home, while 32% agreed with that idea in 2010-2013. In the 1990s, 14% thought the husband should make important decisions in the family, but 17% thought so in 2010. Twenge says that probably doesn’t indicate a spike in sexism, but instead might signify an increased perception that marriage is only for a certain kind of person. “It’s possible that this generation sees marriage as something that people with traditional gender roles do,” she says. “They think it’s for more traditional people.”

Twenge says the increased acceptance of working moms isn’t just because millennials have been around more women who work– it’s also part of the millennial tendency towards individualism. “One aspect of individualism is to treat people equally,” she says. “When you treat people as individuals, you’re not going to distinguish between a working mother and a working father.”

 

TIME Demography

U.S. Steps Closer to a Future Where Minorities Are the Majority

Census finds the country's minority population has risen to 37.9%

Minority births in the U.S. are far outpacing deaths as the white population remains all but stagnant, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday, driving the country closer to the point at which minorities outnumber whites.

The country’s minority population increased from 32.9% of U.S. residents in 2004 to 37.9% in 2014, according to the Census, and four states — Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas — along with Washington, D.C., are now majority-minority. Nevada, which has 48.5% minority population, is likely next.

Non-Hispanic deaths outpaced births in 2014 for a third year in a row, something University of New Hampshire demographer Ken Johnson says has never happened before in the U.S.

“We expected to see non-Hispanic white natural decrease in the future, but it wasn’t expected to start for another decade or so,” Johnson says, adding that the recession and low fertility rates have contributed to the dip. “The white population is considerably older than any other part of the population. This means it has higher mortality. Fewer women are in their prime child-bearing years.”

The slowdown in white population increases is coupled with minority births that are outpacing deaths by three to one. An estimated 95% of the country’s population gain – a 2,360,000 increase – came from minorities last year, while whites made up almost 80% of deaths. However, the non-Hispanic white population did see a bump thanks to 155,000 immigrants, mostly from Europe. The population for whites grew by just 94,000.

“Ironically, non-Hispanic whites are now more dependent on immigration for population increase than any other group,” Johnson says.

Demographers predict that the U.S. will be majority-minority for the first time by the mid-2040s. Millennials, meanwhile, who number 83.1 million, have now surpassed Baby Boomers at 75.4 million and are the most diverse generation in history. But Census numbers show that the generation after them will be the first to be majority-minority. More than half of all Americans aged five years or younger are non-white.

MONEY home ownership

Homeownership Hits Another Record Low

150624_REA_CantAffordHome
Alamy

Still can't afford a home? You've got company

For millions of young Americans the dream of ownership may be farther away than ever.

A decade after the housing bubble collapsed, America’s home ownership rate is still dropping, according to a new survey by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Just 63.7% of American households owned their own homes in the first quarter, researchers found. That ratio is the result of 10 consecutive years of declines since nearly 70% of Americans called themselves homeowners in 2004.

What gives? Despite a bull market and improving jobs picture, many of America’s would-be home buyers—Gen Xers in their 30s and 40s and twenty-something millennials—are still trying to get out from under the financial burdens imposed by the recession.

Most Gen Xers were just buying their first homes or getting ready to trade up when housing prices peaked in 2006. As a result, they had the smallest financial cushion when the recession hit. Unable to make mortgage payments, many were forced to rent again. Today homeownership rates for this age group has fallen to a level “not seen since the 1960s,” the study found.

While Millennials didn’t fall into that trap, they’ve faced their own hurdles. The influx of older renters has pushed up what landlords can charge, making it harder for would-be first time home buyers to scrape together money for a down payment. Over the past decade, the percentage of young renters age 25 to 34 facing a “cost burden”—meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing—has jumped to 46% from 40%.

What can improve the situation? On a policy level the researchers call for loosening lending standards, such as offering loans to borrowers with smaller down payments or lower credit scores. Of course, given that was a big part of what got us into the housing mess in the first place, that seems like a ticklish proposition.

A better bet may be that the economy will bail us out, with a slowly improving employment situation boosting incomes. One thing that hasn’t changed: Young Americans still want to own homes. Among renters in their 20s and 30s, more than 90% hope to buy a home eventually, according to a Fannie Mae survey cited by the authors.

 

 

 

 

 

MONEY Workplace

The Best Places for Millennials to Work

For FORTUNE's 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015, go to California. Or Texas.

As you might imagine, with tech winning for millennial workers, California is the place to be. FORTUNE has released its list of 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015, and 20 of the top 100 are in technology, like Google, Twitter and Yelp. Some are smaller companies though, like #3 AlliedWallet.com, based in Los Angeles. Nineteen of the top 100 are in California, 17 are in Texas, while only 7 are in New York. Financial services and insurance is the second-best industry for millennials with companies like Edward Jones and Pinnacle Financial Partners.

Read next: The Best Youngest Places to Live

TIME

This Company Is the Best Place to Work For Millennials

Courtesy: Power Home Remodeling Group Corey Schiller (left) and Asher Raphael, co-CEOs of Power.

Believe it or not, it's a home remodeling company

If you’re under 35 and looking for a job, you might want to check out this new Fortune ranking of the Best Workplaces for Millennials.

The list, in partnership with researcher Great Place to Work, examines the 100 companies that earned the highest marks in a survey of employees under the age of 35. Many of the companies that earned a spot are the ones you’d expect: tech giants like Google, Salesforce, and SAS; smaller, hot tech companies like Yelp and Squarespace; and hotel chains like Kimpton and Hyatt. But the overall No. 1 might surprise you: Power Home Remodeling Group.

The small contractor started with three small regional offices on the east coast—then two ambitious millennials who joined the company right out of college encouraged expansion. They consolidated the three offices into one headquarters in 2007, then began rapidly opening new offices across the country.

Now those two men, Asher Raphael and Corey Schiller, are the CEOs of the company. And they’ve turned it into a haven for young go-getters that appreciate a performance-driven culture, team spirit and mentoring. The construction business may not be the most sexy industry, but Raphael and Schiller have made it their mission to get top young talent on board.

Read Fortune‘s profile of the company for more.

TIME Advertising

4 Times Brands Shamelessly Pandered to Millennials

How do you do, fellow kids?

General Motors on Monday issued a press release entirely in emoji. Will this get the kids to buy the 2016 Chevy Cruze? Who knows. But GM is hardly the first company to try to exploit Internet culture for its own branding gains among Millennials.

Here’s a few other times big companies have tried to get down with the kids, with varying degrees of success:

1. Volkswagen rides the “i” train

In 2012, German carmaker Volkswagen showed off the “iBeetle,” a version of its famous Beetle designed to work especially well with smartphones. Not only that, the car came with an app that sent “postcards” and kept track of “milestones,” like driving was playing Xbox and reaching 10,000 miles was the same as killing 10,000 bad guys in Call of Duty.

2. 7-11 wants hipsters to drink Slurpees

If you’ve ever been wandering the streets of Williamsburg looking for the best organic mustache wax, 7-11 thinks you’d like a Slurpee. Last year the convenience store chain put out plastic mason jars and straws with plastic mustaches. So put on some Mumford and Sons and get ready for a killer brain freeze.

3. Clorox wanted its own emoji

After Apple announced more racially diverse emoji earlier this year, Clorox responded by asking “Where’s the bleach?” The Internet thought this was a little weird, and regardless of intent, this was a dud.

4. The GOP courts hipsters, too

Ok, so this isn’t technically a company, but the Republican Party also tried to win over millennials, making commercials in which a hipster-looking 20-something explained why he’s a Republican. It was roundly mocked, most famously by John Oliver.

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