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

Tyler Durden's picture

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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canisdirus's picture

Buying an old S600 was your first mistake. Their S class cars are almost entirely experimental. You don't buy one, you lease it. They're intended for wealthy people to have the latest and greatest, then be disposed of when the warranty runs out.

canisdirus's picture

They're also far more reliable. Cars have never been more reliable or easier to repair. The code readers aren't even expensive - you can get one for $10 online and use a free (or freemium) tool to get the codes and a description. They've never been wrong or caused me to do anything I didn't need to do.

Wrenching Away's picture

I 100% believe that. You should hear some of the things the Amazon programmers say to me about their cars when they bring them in.

FireBrander's picture

Freind of mine is an HVAC guy....ROUTINELY gets calls for furnaces that "start, run for a bit, then shut down; house is cold"...problem he finds nearly every time...the filter is absolutely plugged shut...young homeowers "we didn't know we had to change that"...wow! "repair cost" is an hour labor and a new filter ~$125...easy money..he can easily do 7 of those a day...who needs college?

I see it all the time, people buying a home and treating it like an apartment "What!?, it's my responsibility to mow the yard, trim the trees and paint?".

shovelhead's picture


My buddy went out on an HVAC call and the entire condensing unit was filled with leaves. Stuffed tight. Had no idea the coils had to be cleaned. Never was done in 15 years.

Freddie's picture

It is the parents spoil the millenials.  they have all sorts of shot done for their kids.  In college they hover (helipcopter parents) and bully the colleges to make sure every whim is taken care of.  The parents should be questions the crushing college debt etc.

I know a lazy millennial I did some work with.  He was supposedly an eagle scout but he was not very handy.  Great kid just lazy.  He was spolied by his parents.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

They should not have all of those amenities in college. It drives up costs. With any imagination, kids at 18 should be able to have fun anywhere. We had a crappy, institutional-looking cafeteria and student center. It was still fun. They need something to aspire to.

Semi-employed White Guy's picture

If he's lazy, then he's not a "great" kid.

Irish Yoga's picture


Well, I can tell all you young bucks this. I spent a lifetime learning and was able to get myself out of some serious situations due to my skills. If you need help hanging a fucking picture on the wall you are in serious trouble. If Home Depot is now showing how a tape measure works with a video you are seriously the dumbest fucks to ever walk the Earth. And guess what will happen… me and others will take advantage of your stupidity. You will accumulate debt, us old farts will continue to gather wealth.


Keep on Facefucking you Millennial idiots!

M O B's picture

Yes, they should be. 

I have difficulty crediting this article, but the other side of this coin is boomers woefully inadequate grasp of technology. Not to play the blame game, but re-installing the OS, setting up a router and modem, etc is today's oil change. Skillsets change over time. Boomers on here who have an account and reply, good job! You are likely in the top 20% for your cohort because the bar is so low.

Do you all remember when social security had to disable two factor authenticaion for login because the older crowd was unable to understand it or use it? SS had a video they could watch that explained how (or one could read the instructions), but SS was still swamped by clueless support questions and they had to cancel the rollout.

Why do politicians keep having so many email hacking problems? Because they don't even know how to pick a proper password and are too old to (apparently) learn.

That said, obviously people need to know how to do simple things. I really really doubt that anyone who has ever picked up a tape measure is unable to use it. Installing insulation and drywall (let alone hanging a TV) are all simple things. So are 2FA, proper passwords, and setting up a home network. This article is just more incidieary clickbait. Zerohedge has really gone down the clickbait tubes these last few years. It used to be focused on actual economic news and analysis.

Trogdor's picture

I've taken two millennials under my wing to help them learn about general repairs, material types and grades, plumbing, fasteners, adhesives, electrical, power-tools, welding, woodworking, foundry, etc, etc. At first they were a bit put-off by their failures (I let them fail), but with encouragement they've gotten past that and are picking concepts and skills up like any "guy" would. One of them is always thanking me for showing him - he always says "My dad never showed me any of this stuff... probably because he didn't know it, either"

While it's entertaining to poke fun at the millenials (mostly because they tend to be insufferably arrogant despite their lack of skills), we need to pass this stuff on.

fulliautomatix's picture

Parents and peers.

this - "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."

   doesn't go well with the postulate that millenials are useless at do-it-yourself. Sounds to me as if they're choosing to get on the learning curve, at least. As with any other learning curve, some will, some won't. Most will learn through making mistakes and getting it wrong.

what happened's picture


My son is in this generation and can make anything, he barely had to be taught.  Some people are more inclined to this kind of endeavor.   We are asking a lot of these kids, including cleaning up our big financial mess.  I hope we can learn to stop ridiculing them as we have many things to answer for as well.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Some of your geneartion will be, most will not.

Once a real shooting-killing war starts, then we get to separate the wheat from the chaff...

is what it is, nothing new under the sun apparently...

...past generations have in fact  mis-allocated precious capital and resources.

Unfortunately that puts us in a much worse position.

Freddie's picture

Shooting war?  You mean more of the fake Rothschild banker wars?  I will tell any kid who will listen to NOT sign up for Uncle Scholomo'smilitary. 

Civil war shooting war?  I may agree with you there.  Girly boys updating facebook pages.

However - any fu*king white man in American that watches and supports the NFL, NBA and NCAA is a piece of shit.  Most young people have tuned out that shit except ghey alum,nitypes who love their Trayvon thugs and rapists. 

Many of the young are also tuning out TV and Hollywood.  TV iks watched by old fux. Old stupid fu*king codgers still love Talmudvision.  By the way - I am more old than young.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Again, the math is what it is...

all about "averages" my friend.  Look at the "average" person and their intellectual/physical capabilities...

shovelhead's picture

My hanging and taping skills will make me immune to machine guns.

HK VP9's picture

I doubt you could screw the cap back on a tube of toothpaste without a video tutorial. Of course, if your parents weren't filthy cocksucking beatniks they might have been able to teach you something other than how to shave your mangina or put your hair up in a man bun.

The sight of dirt and grease sends fucks like you screaming into the night crying for your safe space. 

Mtnrunnr's picture

yeah, you're wrong about that.

Consuelo's picture



Before you get too full of yourself...


Neither you (nor me) nor anyone under 80 years of age, has any clue of what self-reliance, hardship and 'making-due' is all about, nor what is about to befall them.    Great that you are ready to tackle being 'handy' head on, now let's see if you have the stomach for what is about to transpire.

Mtnrunnr's picture

I get that, I'm not saying that. But everyone should know how to fix their AC, change their oil, change belts in their car, and do house work (like drywall, basic carpentry). These are not hard tasks, they take 10 hours to learn and all the info you need is a youtube video away or a $500 community college course away. We don't have the luxurys our parents had (well we do, but we're buying them on credit). We will be living the lives of our 85 year old great grand parents in 20 years.

sleigher's picture

We hope it is 20 years away.  I am not so optimistic.

Freddie's picture

It is foolish to lump all young people or old people into specific behavior.  I think the big problem is many millenials are spoiled by the parents.  I had some neighbors where yard work was too good for the kids.  Even washing their cars.  Real stupid shit.  Parents not wanting their kids to get their hands dirty.   Parents teaching their kids how to fix things is a huge help.  Working class millenials often can fix all sorts of stuff.  The middle class and upper middle class millenials are often useless.

I had two neighbors.  One was comfortable but was always buy crap so they were making $300K but were broke.  There kids had after school jobs but never did work around the house.

The other on the rich side of the street were loaded ($5 m house) but the mom and dad had the kids working all the time. The kids were amazing, talented, well spoken, polite and friendly.  It was hard to hate them.  LOL!

Now to beat up on oldsters - I am amazed the stupidity of older people still taking anything TV says as gospel.  The TV generation are among the biggest retards.  I have relatives about the same age or slightly older and they believe ANYTHING TV says! 

Nobody For President's picture

Real oldsters, especially if they lived in the country, never had a tv. I was 12 when I saw my first tv in a store window when we went to the big city (Seattle). I think there was one channel. Nobody had a tv in my high school, it hadn't made it to my costal oregon town. Never had time in college or the army to watch. From 22 to 30 had tv, moved back the the country, got sat tv about when I turned 60, got rid of it three years ago after wife died. 

Doing ok without it. Shit, damn internet is bad enough...

LawsofPhysics's picture

"We will be living the lives of our 85 year old great grand parents in 20 years." --

Yes, precisely, but on a much larger scale of course...

Abbie Normal's picture

Steve wanted to learn how to hang drywall, so he watched a youtube video and can now hang drywall.

Then Steve wanted to learn how to swim, so he watched a youtube video and drowned.

You can't learn everything in life from youtube.

Mr.BlingBling's picture

True dat!  But there are good resources out there, including the Foxfire books about how people lived in rural Appalachia.  Back in the 1970's the authors interviewed a bunch of old hillbillies (a term I am using with great respect) to document what life was like back in the depression and how they lived through it  (i.e. "how to" instructions).  The books are a frickin' gold mine!!!


Topic include, "Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining, Spring Wild Plant Foods, Spinning and Weaving, Midwifing, Burial Customs, Corn Shuckin's, Wagon Making, etc. etc. etc."


Here's a good video in which an old moonshiner, name of 'Popcorn Sutton,' walks you through exactly how to make moonshine. He even builds a still out in the woods so you can see for yourself.

"This is the Last Dam Run of Likker I'll Ever Make"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glQjCKAI4gA


shovelhead's picture

My FIL had those foxfire books when he was building his retirement ranch.


Snípéir_Ag_Obair's picture

You talk like a fag, and your shit's all fucked up.

The_Juggernaut's picture

Programming the remote for them doesn't count.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"I promise you, my generation will be much more handy than you old fucks because we will have to be."

You can promise all you like, but you dont how to learn these things because you "have to". If you try to learn to hunt "because you have to", you will die very quickly.

Can you change the oil on your car?

Can you chnge the water pump?

Can you repair the plumbing in the bathroom?

Can you repair an electrical outlet?


Can Trump?

Tactical Joke's picture

In general, I think you're a pathetic fuck, but you're not wrong. Boomers are the worst.

inhibi's picture


Let me decipher this article: Home Depot (run by idiot Boomers), due to a lack of sales (due to Boomers outsourcing all jobs), decide that its the Millenials own fault (apparently its not the fault of the parents if their kids dont know how to hammer a nail) and decide to teach them basic everyday things.

I know three millenials that where in my uni that are know on the front pages of fine woodworking magazines. I dont know what this article is trying to say exactly, that because our generation cant afford homes we arent handy? Ive grown weed in a closet in college ffs.

HardAssets's picture

You just have clueless parents.

The Boomers were spoiled by the generation before them & the Millenials spoiled even worse by the Boomers.

The Millenials probably won't have actual children. Theyll masturbate with life like robots & buy robot children to 'parent'.

Hari_Seldon's picture

I downvoted you because 2 out of 3 of my kids are ignorant turds.  The third, jury is still out.


ZeroLounger's picture

Fucking hilarious!! "Can you name a country that starts with a 'U'?.  "UTOPIA?" "Europe?"

ChargingHandle's picture

Right you probably see a tape measure and think this would be good to throw at a police car

yogibear's picture

All the millenials around me don't even want to cut grass.

It takes away from their time off.

Rubicon727's picture

Mtnrunnr stated: "My generation wasn't taught to do anything because our parents were too busy oursourcing every task they could imagine and do nothing themselves."

There is a GREAT DEAL of TRUTH here.

Much of the blame is laid squarely at the feet of the Boomer Generation and Xers. It was them that discarded educating their kids about EVERYTHING that matters in how to function in this country. You didn't spend quality time teaching your kids the practicalities of household bookkeeping, never being involved in teaching them higher cognitive thinking (history, art, literature, politics), nor teaching them how to remain skeptical about "easy fixes,"pt phony schemes or gimmicks. The list is endless.

Mtnrunner is merely telling us the truth. Good for you, and best regards in your ability to dig yourself out of this screwed up culture! 


Blurb's picture

Yeah, like make your bed and actually put your dishes in the sink and stuff -- you have to do EVERYTHING!

not dead yet's picture

Mouthy turds like you weren't interested in doing anything that involved physical effort, tools don't do the work themselves, so don't blame the parents. It didn't help that our pals in the education industry ranted about having a kid do any kind of work, even mundane stuff like doing dishes or mowing the lawn, was child abuse. Then there was there multi decade propaganda of start education early, as young as 3, then lengthen the school day and year and pile on hours of homework and go on to college or be a loser. They were especially big on telling parents to never let their kids get a job because they might like the money and never go on to college. Gym classes and home ec were dropped and shop classes were discouraged, academics considered kids that took those courses were dummies thus the elimination of tech high schools, so the education industry could fill their pockets, and the pockets of their cronies like the testing oufits and textbook sellers, while filling the kids full of intellectual bullshit for 20 years creating propagandized debaters prone to violence, not doers. There are plenty of millenials out there doing just fine but they don't get the press they deserve. Only the useless turds do as the stupids that run the media highlight negativity and conflict to sell their wares.

If there is one thing we can blame on parents of every generation is they are looking to make things better for their kids. Thus many parents getting suckered into doing the bidding of the education industry as mentioned above. As parents make their generations more successful and life easier the more ungrateful losers in each of the succeeding generations. Imagine back in the early 1900's where parents looked forward to the day they could get a refrigerator or indoor plumbing, not to mention a car or electricity, to make life easier. Now it's tablets. cell phones, and the internet. The media loves to pit generations against each other instead of trying to bring them together. Contrary to the media plenty of us oldies are tech savy and there are plenty in the younger generations that can use tools and do projects. When you start blaming whole generations for whatever, like wars and the US debt, you're announcing to the world that you're another manipulated ignorant tool.

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

And to think this is the future leadership of Murica.  This country is so screwed.

GeezerGeek's picture

I thought Mr. Pink was talking about screwing in a light bulb, not screwing up a country.

But yes, unfortunately. It may be as bad as allowing boomers (of which I am one) to control the levers of power. Or perhaps they will prove so absolutely clueless and ineffective that freedom for the masses will make a comeback.

Savvy's picture

Just one with a cell phone to look up how on youtube.

Mr.BlingBling's picture

The general incompetence among today's "yutes" is just mind-boggling.  It's so bad that teen boys with a driver's license can't even change a fucking flat.  I was blown away when I first saw this commercial in which a mother lauded how "Liberty Mutual stood by me when [her sheepish-looking teen son] got a flat in the middle of the night."  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_Rkahsi7c8


If you're a guy and you don't know how to change a fucking flat tire, you're pathetic.  Even if you didnt's have a father around to show you how.  Instructions are in the owner's manual, so there's no excuse for that level of incompetence.  Also, learn to drive a stick shift fer chrissakes.  And it wouldn't hurt to be able to parallel park either, by cracky.

Retronomicon's picture

It's spelled 'Yoofs' dumbass.