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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SaulAzzHoleSky's picture

There is a small town in Western VA (I believe) where they have two water tanks on a hill. One is painted "HOT" and the other "COLD". Maybe she lived there.

I'm sure this confuses the hell out of the little kids that live there...

CRM114's picture

Q; How many millennials does it take to change a lighbulb?

A: "One. dead easy. I'll just....Whaat!? Whaddayamean Siri,  'There's no app for that'?! . Anyway, I'm not doing it on principle. Because Global Warming...and it's rayciss, and islamophobic. F#ck off, wrinkly. It's all your generation's fault the lightbulb broke anyway.""

Bunga Bunga's picture

It is less about technical abilities, but financial. When you move into parent's basement after college, why would you buy home improvement stuff. You have no reason but also no money for that.

Eyes Opened's picture

What I find depressing is the almost total lack of young people with enquiring minds...

Look at Youtubes trending vids... omg... fluff & dross..

With all the educational vids on EVERY aspect of life/work/hobbies/technology etc. peeps waste their time watching shit...

If only such a rich source of information was available when I was growing up... I used to spend a small fortune on books & magazines ...


Pasadena Phil's picture

I hope they're being taught to read a metric tape measure. Once they push through a law mandating the adoption of the metric system, there will be lots of high-paying jobs for people who have that skill. They will be needed to oversee the ripping up of our English standard (feet, miles, inches, etc...) roadways and railways and replacing them with metric versions. I wonder if that applies to windows and stairs too? We'll certainly have to replace all of our football and baseball stadiums.

indaknow's picture

It's not just that they don't know how to do the most basic things, it's that they don't understand why they would even have to know. 

honest injun's picture

It is truly breathtaking what young American adults don't know.  They can use a doorknob but cannot replace one.  They think that they know more than people older than them.  Ask an American born college graduate who was the first and second president of the United States and most of them will tell you Washington and Lincoln.  They are biological androids who are trained to perform a set of tasks and anything outside of their training is unknown to them and they are not even curious about.  Foreign-born college graduates have a broader base of known facts.

pogeybait's picture

Well, it shouldn't be a surprise....just look at who has been teaching them and what has been actually taught. Has not the self sufficient, rugged individual been replaced by entitlement minded creations that can be told what to ignore in order to implement their correct policies under the premise to save us from ourselves? 

silvertrain's picture

wait until the snowflakes in the basement inherit the home when the parents are gone..

HRH Feant2's picture

Like the 40-something that flew home to see his HS football game with his parents this weekend? That guy? The weirdo? God help us. I am guessing he will sell the place and move to a condo.

shuckster's picture

ZH rips mills every single day. Literally. Hey fuckers. Who coded this website for you? Not you that's for sure. Is that why your code sucks donkey dick? Get ready for $5000 starting bonuses on all jobs and $35/hr starting on trades. I read that mechanics used to make $85 an hour in 1985. Adjusted for inflation that's like $600 an hour. Now you're griping about kids not taking $12 an hour since that would buy you a boat and six cars during the Eisenhower years? Get ready cuz the fires just going to keep coming

Twee Surgeon's picture

No Mechanics with any skill are making $12 an hour. An Oil change guy in Arkansas maybe and what the hell, it's a job, if yer young enough for that daily grind.

Auto shops might have charged $85 an hour but that's not the same thing as taking home $85 an hour. The Shop gets it's cut first. I can't remember what they charged back then as I did my own Wrenching. Too damn poor to take it to rip off Mechanics. That shits for the rich kids.

homiegot's picture

Who invented all this shit? Not you!

larrythelogger's picture

I'm grateful for Home Depot and Lowes. Because necessity is the mother of invention, I'm self taught, have completely renovated, down to studs and windows, several homes I've owned, including pulling my own permits and passing city and county inspections of work that I've done, including plumbing, framing, insulation, electrical, heating and air, window and door installation. I've saved literally tens of thousands of dollars in labor (probably well over a hundred grand) over the past twenty five years and seven homes in six states albeit doing it myself takes a hell of a lot longer than having your own crew. Thanks to HD, Lowes, and some online material suppliers for all my building materials (and in some of HD's their master plumbers and master electricians they hired for expertise), I bought all my stuff and did every single bit of the work all by myself. It ain't rocket science and all the specifics are in the international building, plumbing and electrical codes and every city's building permit office. I can't imagine an American adult needing a class in how to use a freaking tape measure, hammer a nail, mop a floor or how to hang a damn picture. Holy shit, we're in trouble.

Eyes Opened's picture

+1 larry...

I've done/doing the the same with a 5 bed stone cottage... 

The beauty of doin it all yourself is threefold...

U save a fortune

U get a wonderful self-taught education

U can afford to buy a bunch of tools which u get to keep.


Sid Davis's picture

They may not be good at real life but they are great at getting tattoos, playing video games, and believing Cultural Marxism.

I heard a young person bragging that he figured out how to get free cable. He bought an indoor antenna.

markitect's picture

Most millennials I work with are 10x better at just about everything than any fucking boomer i know, another shit piece by ZH to feed the angry gold hording weirdos who took over this site.  You should have been 5 years ago when this was an actual informative site.  And yes I was here from the beginning b4 ever creating a profile.  Go take your fucking colloidal silver assholes.

pocomotion's picture

Keep drinking those Coffee Enema smoothy's Bitch!

Falconsixone's picture

When you say work do you actually sweat?

markitect's picture

Fuck off pussy, I started as a concrete laborer, then carpenter, went to architecture school, got licensed and built a business and now spec develop my own shit.  I dont sweat anymore unless Im running a marathon or at my beach house.  I know your type, prob pounding the same nails from 25 years ago waiting to get injured and collect some sweet disability.  I'll concede maybe a few of the old timers, Vietnam guys I started with were possibly tougher than my younger millenial carpenters but my milleneals arent 40 pounds overweight sucking down 2 packs of reds a day and wont be horse meat by 40.  They also dont make nearly the amount of mistakes the old timers did and can actualy read a fucking blueprint.  They simply work smarter.  

Pitiful's picture

Self employed wood refinisher / ice hockey referee on weekends here.

I feel you.

They fell for the divide & conquer rhetoric of the media because all they do is watch TV all fucking day. Enough said.

Falconsixone's picture

Oh you know me? "Fuck off pussy" doesn't sound like the architects I use to design my Ultimate Fighting cages where I'm always the champion?


Falconsixone's picture

Profesional has two s's in english. What's a red? I read blueprints and fix things architects miss everyday, so spare me your knowledge next time. Stick to flying off the handle. 

Pinot-Noir's picture

....Really, I had to show my daughter's 23 year old boyfriend how to light a fire,


...and you don't think that's a problem waiting in the wings??


Kprime's picture

you mean, use your thumb to roll the little wheel?

HRH Feant2's picture

Jeez the scary part is I believe you! I hope you pulled out a propane torch, opened the valve and hit the metal striker pan to light it and scared him!

trader1's picture

boomers fucked over their offspring

Ben A Drill's picture

That’s funny, most millennials don’t even last before our three month probation period. They quit, show up late, call in sick, and don’t like being told what to do. Most can’t even follow a company’s dress code.

markitect's picture

Same shit in 2001, 1991, 1981, 1971...

Ben A Drill's picture

If you say so. Wonder how many millennials had kids and now are on food stamps?

Eyes Opened's picture

As u are in the construction industry... care to explain why contractors can't find workers ??



Kprime's picture

apparently it takes a millennial one hundred years to learn how to read a tape.

homiegot's picture

Better at social media? Yup.

Azannoth's picture

There is no such thing as a failure of the current generation, the parents are always responsible for the failures of their children

jughead's picture

which is really convenient for orphans or, single parent kids.  Shall we blame your parents for the stupidity you just displayed?  Wait, don't tell me...you are a millenial, right?

Sparehead's picture

So if a kid has shitty parents and still manages to succeed do we give the parents credit for his/her success?

Failure is part of life. You can choose to learn from it or find someone else to blame it on. 

jughead's picture

All hail the rise of the Idiocracy!

pocomotion's picture

Come-on son, want to help your old dad change the fuel rods in our house reactor?  Sorry dad, Jenny's coming over to deeply study with me up in my room; wink, wink...

Falconsixone's picture

Those guys that do stuff will make a robot to keep us warm and stuff.


Do you feel ok? Are you happy? I need to go center myself the people at work are mean to me. Are you ok? I think, I dont know what do you think? I guess?


It really is funny how fucking stupid some of them are. I guess...lol

Falconsixone's picture

But dont tell them that because they have an extra load of righteousness.

rf80412's picture

Plans for small reactors intend for them to be pre-assembled and pre-fueled at the factory, and aren't designed to be refueled or even maintained.  Just buy it, truck it in, plug it into the local grid, and when it winds down the company will show up with a new one on schedule.

mastersnark's picture

If we gas all the millenials now, the US still may have a chance to recover from their infestation.

Eyes Opened's picture

Rounduptm  seems appropiate.... lol

PresidentCamacho's picture

You would be doing us all a favor. This world our parents left us isn't worth living in. Let the Subhuman hordes rape the boomers literally and figurativly, last european on earth please shut off the lights

homiegot's picture

You're the only young person that's EVER thought this way.

dgc0101's picture

I didn't see any comments addressing an equally disturbing and perhaps worse problem: millennials as a cohort do NOT have the financial resources and disposable income that retailers, auto makers and contractors saw historically. Even if they weren't pathetic, too many millennials pursued academic CREDENTIALING at hugely inflated prices and are now left holding massive amounts of undischargeable debt that they are servicing in mostly marginal jobs. And then there is the unconfortable problem of massive amounts of unpayable public and private debt that hangs over all of our heads whether we wanted it or not.

It would be really nice if corporate America could do accurate economic forcasting beyond 3 years, or at least had people who don't require degrees in data science to see obvious general trends.

I guess the millennials will just have to settle for apps instead. 

Ben A Drill's picture

Most millennials that I work with have never been outside city limits. I ask if they have been to any of the National Parks in California. All say no. Camping. Nope. Road trip. Not even.

These poor millennials don’t have any extra money for anything more than a cup of coffee.

Bai Suzhen's picture

And the funny thing is, they are probably driving a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with optional winch and off road lighting.