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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TheLastTrump's picture

Mother Russia is bestest Russia.

Heroic Couplet's picture

Home Deport and its contractors are enabling how many illegal aliens? Drive around town and look who's on construction crews. So what's the head count of illegals (and has Trump fired the illegals working in his hotels and casinos)?

Hammer? haha. Someone I know enrolled in a building class has an instructor who dictates the use of nail guns. Hammers: only use infrequently. Surprise Home Depot doesn't know.

Yes, measuring tapes have two sides, and only one of the two is used by construction/woodworkers. I'll let Home Depot explain.


Zero-Hegemon's picture

Hammers have their place, but I too gave up on them a while back. Now I have an infrequently used framing nailer, roofing nailer, and finish nailer. Actually the finish nailer got a lot of use, a Bostich.

TheLastTrump's picture

It's called 'tool sense'.


Your daddy either taught it to you, or you learned it the hard way due to lack of money to throw away repairables & buy new.


This is yet another symptom of dads being forced out of kids lives by govt run anti male programs & laws that make divorce easy with a ready made victim every time, the male.

makinbacon's picture

Stupid parents....make stupid kids....

Wahooo's picture

As I've purchased tools over time, I've come up with a lot of duplication. Those duplicates go into a toolbox for my son for when he graduates from college. He knows how to build a deck, do basic plumbing, change the oil, operate all manner of power tools, etc. He won't need too many milennial contractors.

Eyes Opened's picture

Heres a nice vid of a guy gettin started early with his daughter...

reminds me of when I hung around my cabinetmaker fathers bench... watching... always watching...  :-)



InflammatoryResponse's picture

Ha ha...


you said Millenial Contractors.    funniest thing I've seen all day.  oh you meant contractors that millenials HIRE?



Nobody For President's picture

I sent my son (and later daughter) off to college with a basic toolbox.

They quickly became very popular on their dorm floor as 'fixers' that came a lot quicker than the 'official' building superintendent. (They were popular for other reasons also.)  

Yen Cross's picture

   Millenials = free fast food for the zombies.

yellowsub's picture

Wouldn't this increase bottom line by selling installation services?  Mostly everone today wants to buy move in ready homes.  The only thing they would do if anything would be so simple even they can't screw it up.

CRM114's picture

The problem is two-fold.

Firstly, half the kids starting engineering courses don't know how to use a tape measure properly. And I recently taught on Uni engineering courses,  so that's a fact. God only knows what percentage of Wimmin's Studies students can. Their parents didn't show them. It's partly because one can't fix very much on a modern car, partly because charging $3 for 5 nails in a blister pack at the box store means there's little point DIYing on cost grounds*, and mostly because the local authority requires you to have 43 permits and a 3 year training course just to change a lightbulb.

Secondly, all design and technology education has shifted to make it easier to mark, and easier for women to teach (because they are taking over education completely). It's all design portfolios and customer surveys, not spending 3 weeks learning how to chisel properly. There isn't time to develop manual dexterity with any tool, mostly because there are nowhere near enough teachers who can teach it. And most education authorities either won't let old guys in brown shopcoats teach it, or expect to pay them peanuts to do so whilst the 'teacher' gets 3 times the salary for standing in the corner.


*I know where to get 20 nails for 5c, maybe you do too, but they don't, and that's the point.

CRM114's picture

Could you clarify, please?

Falconsixone's picture

That's how the pioneers retrieved their nails when the moved on or rebuilt in the old days.

I'm sure you knew that.

Eyes Opened's picture

Good post CRM  ....

"There isn't time to develop manual dexterity with any tool,"

I was taught about muscle-memory in handling tools,  where the tool almost becomes an extension of your hand... practice practice practice... is the ONLY way to achieve this ...

Cardinal Fang's picture

It is really about the dumbing down of people. If you don't have critical thinking skills you don't have curiousity. If you don't have curiousity, you don't learn anything outside of a very finite skill set.

Any practical skill is about experience. You get that experience by working with someone who is willing to share the benefit of that experience.

If all you are surrounded by are ignorant assholes, that is what you become.

Welcome to the New World Order. You are surrounded by ignorant assholes.

rf80412's picture

You get that experience by working with someone who is willing to share the benefit of that experience.

It's been my experience that the people who are most proud of and most invested in what they have and what they do are the most jealous of them and the least interested in sharing.  Show any kind of interest in their thing and they give you attitude like your ego needs deflating, like you're trying to take it from them, or like you're trying to make it about you rather than about them.  And I can't decide if they do it worse to little kids who of course don't know anything and can't do anything ... or if they do it worse to teens and young adults who in their minds should know and should be able to do.

Maybe it's a test?  Maybe it's reverse psychology?

shovelhead's picture

Nope .

You just know assholes.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

My millenial nephew from SoCal visited this summer.  He got bored, offered to help with a summer long tree grubbing project.  I warned him it was hard, nasty work.  I got 300' of cord and had him use the electric chainsaw so he would get in less trouble.  He hit it for a few hours, ended up sawing though the power cord.  I ended up finishing the project.

BTW, the Homelite 16" electric chainsaw is fantastic deal for $75 at Home Depot.  I've beat the hell out of mine for many years, prolly gone through 8 chains with it.  Never a single problem.  Super easy to replace chain, and you never have to start it or screw with plugs, gas/oil.  Actually prefer it to my gas Stihl saw.


PS - tried one of those lithium battery powered saw earlier this year - they just don't run long enough on a charge ....

jughead's picture

multiple batteries are your friend

Lemmy Caution's picture

I see a world of possibilities for the home improvement stores to increase sales. How about stocking both left-handed and right-handed hammers? One screw driver for loosening screws and another one for tightening screws? One can of paint for vertical surfaces like a wall, and another can for horizontal ceilings? I mean, the possibilities are endless, really. I see a failure of imagination, not a cause for panic.

Duc888's picture



"I see a world of possibilities for the home improvement stores to increase sales. How about stocking both left-handed and right-handed hammers? "


Reminds me of the time I was at my brothers rental property helping the renter dude hang shades.  He was a male nurse for years......and I watched him grab the screwdriver and proceed to try to screw the wood screw into the molding counter clockwise.


Scary shit.,

Ben A Drill's picture

I remember the time when my younger brother said to me when changing out a air filter in a ‘72 Pontiac Grand Prix. 400 hp. He said “you put it in upside down”. We both just laughed.

Eyes Opened's picture

Sinister....He MUST be a democrat.....  lol

Kprime's picture

you are a rotational racist.  i'm right triggered

shuckster's picture

Wrong. Box stores sell crap. They don't want you to make money buying their stuff and doing a profitable project - they want you to splurge on yellow and orange tools that make your gf wet

sheikurbootie's picture

Mike Judge's Idiocracy is pure genius and the truth hurts.  He left out the illegal invasion taking over though.  We need Trump to evict those leeches.

Azannoth's picture

His timeline was 500 years with 3rd world immigration that is cut to 50

U4 eee aaa's picture

The free (black) market always speeds things up

Ben A Drill's picture

I blame the parents.

Something I always had to do and hated every minute of it. “Here son, hold this flashlight and watch me fix this”. I think this is when I learned how to complain.

I wish my father said “I’ll hold the flashlight son and I’ll talk you through fixing this”.

Holding the flashlight sucks!

Kprime's picture

when the electric grid goes down, you will wish you had learned how to hold a flashlight.

Ben A Drill's picture

I was six years old. Your such a hard ass lol.

Falconsixone's picture

In Russia the hammer nails you.

hsun85's picture

oh no, plz dont use nails on that dry wall.

Anarchyteez's picture

You do on the perimeter, not the field.

shovelhead's picture

Why not ring shanks have been holding up drywall since it was invented without a single problem.

Only an asshole uses smooth shanks on drywall.

Anarchyteez's picture

And next week at HD training. How to change a lightbulb for millenials.

Kina's picture

Pathetic snowflake helpless generation.

Basic stuff for us was woodwork, metal work, and at home you learned the basice of how to fix a car.

Then you learned a bit of programming.

So when in your own home you can do most stuff yourself, and you aint scared to do it yourself.


Stripped the drive with dichloromethane, then resealed it, painted the house three times already (tropics). put in security locks, CCTVs, built shit, retaining walls, planted our lawns, resealed the roof.....and so it goes on.   Everybody from my generation can do this stuff as NORMAL skill set.

dark pools of soros's picture

they know how to make bongs

mephistophocles's picture

No one currently under 30 will live past 50 anyway, because mommy and daddy (gen x) and their grandparents will be dead by then. That means a) no basement to live in anymore, b) no one else is paying the grocery bill, c) there's no grocery store anyway because no one knows how to grow food, d) no one is in the workforce generating welfare checks for them, e) there is no skilled labor to operate the infrastructure and f) no one's left alive with any self-defense skills - the sight of a firearm "triggers" these little pussies.

Just to paint that picture in all its gory detail - we're talking about an entire generation who can't feed, shelter, or defend themselves. That means an unclothed starving band of helplessness that spends all its time getting gang-raped. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Pitiful's picture

You forgot who gets all the money when they die.

Downtoolong's picture


I’ve noticed how a lot of home improvement shows no longer have episodes where the owner tries to go it alone. I really miss it. It was hilarious watching the looks on some their faces when a pro came in afterwards and explained why their entire new project had to be ripped out and redone right.


Then there were the scenes where owners got involved in the demolitions and renovations, swinging a sledge hammer into their old kitchen cabinets and walls. I’m guessing it was the producer’s liability insurance providers that finally put a stop to that.  There’s enough hazards and risk on a job site already without that shit going on.  


foodstampbarry's picture

Yep, my millenial cousin didnt know hot water came from a water heater. When she saw the water heater in the garage, she asked, What is that?

SHe thought the water came through the pipes already hot. She thought the water factory, wherever that's located heated the water...


 I shit you not.  

shuckster's picture

what were you doing alone in the garage with her?

HRH Feant2's picture

The water factory . . . hahahahaha!