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American Retailers Use Celebrities and Influencers to Target Young Shoppers

With the rise of ecommerce, it is easy to assume that traditional retailers are on the way out. But stores such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy are not giving up in the United States. These companies are determined to stay relevant in the digital age.

Walmart has taken the strategy of partnering with celebrities and online influencers to target the young demographic.

Retailers Use Celebrities to Target Millennials and Gen Z Buyers

On the surface, an agreement between Walmart and a six-year-old YouTuber may seem unusual. But it is the type of arrangement the company is hoping will save its future.

Walmart has taken the step of partnering with many YouTube influencers and celebrities to boost its brand. The company sees partnering with these individuals as a way to get the attention of millennial and gen z shoppers.

In the case of the six-year-old, Walmart is partnering with a YouTube channel called Ryan ToysReview. The channel manages to get up to 950 million views each month! The company understands that many young kids are watching such channels on YouTube. And they want in on the action.

Special Collections

It is no secret that retailers in the United States are struggling to attract shoppers. Not only are millennials and gen z shoppers more socially conscious, but they tend to do a lot of shopping online.

But Walmart and others believe that by creating special collections in partnership with popular figures, they can attract such a crowd to their stores. It is the modern way of making the retail score seem cool again!

And it is interesting to see these companies take risks in the partnerships. It is not just the huge names, such as the Kardashians, that get partnership deals. Nordstrom recently partnered with Arielle Charnas, a lifestyle influencer who has a blog that reaches her million followers.


There appears to be a general trend in the fashion and lifestyle markets that is moving in the direction of influencers. For instance, BeautyCon has become a very popular event only five years after it was first introduced.

It started as a smaller event where YouTube influencers could meet and trade their favorite products or tips. Now it is a massive event that takes place in New York, Los Angeles and London!

This year’s event in California was huge, with Kim Kardashian attending and over 32,000 others coming in person. Over 500 influencers were at the event, showcasing their importance to beauty and lifestyle brands.

Making a Connection

While partnering with the most famous celebrities in television, music and social media makes sense, it appears retailers are going a step further.

They are beginning to see that targeting millennials and gen z shoppers occurs through partnership with smaller influencers as well. People are spending more time than ever on social media and YouTube, getting lifestyle and beauty tips from bloggers, content creators and influencers.

By partnering with these influencers, retailers believe they can form a connection with the young shoppers who are vital to their future.