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

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.


mrdenis Oct 11, 2017 7:09 PM Permalink

They've take all shop and automotove classed out of the HS ....they did this to make all kids want to go to college ...it's a  failed work in progress.

chilller Oct 11, 2017 8:28 AM Permalink

Some millennials Eggheads I work with spend their time building bitcoin mining machines in hopes they will some day be able to go video gaming or golfing all day while the contraption in their garage earns them $200,000 per day. Oh what a rude awakening these millennials are in for!

JailBanksters Oct 11, 2017 3:21 AM Permalink

That's why they all have smart phones, so they don't have to be.I saw this problem 20 years ago, but worse is people in high paying jobswhere making Toast, Coffee is even a challenge.Each Generation gets taught less at home from their Parents.At this rate, in another 20 years, while the Phone will get smarter, people are going to a dumber than bat shit. 

Miner Oct 11, 2017 12:43 AM Permalink

When you giggle at the ineptitude of these people, remember that they weren't hatched.  Have you taught your kids how to make and do?

Is-Be Oct 11, 2017 12:18 AM Permalink

My son got a degree in Electrical engineering. He is into his doctorate.I've just bought him his first breadboard.He's a top gun in programming, but that industry swivels on a dime. Today's hero is tomorrow's bore.I'm hanging around to teach him to drive.What I wouldn't do to have him come sailing with me and develop the land that is going to be vital if our very fragile supply lines fail.His mommy wipes his arse for him.

Vracar Oct 11, 2017 12:11 AM Permalink

muricans-most unaducated nation on Earth. pussyfied ignorant arogant fucks, thinking of themselfs as exeptional. Now that is a nation that should not be alowed to have 'nucelar'* weapons. * president of the u.s arbusto

Silver_Knight Oct 10, 2017 11:42 PM Permalink

Bullshit.  Millenials have fuck all money to hire for this shit.  Do you think the DIY movement is coming from boomers?  The bigger problem for Home Depot is that millenials are too poor to afford their products so they go get it at the dump and the side of the road and repurpose things.   Waste thown away by older, weathier people.  

Zero-Hegemon Oct 10, 2017 11:24 PM Permalink

I picked up a 7x10 mini lathe earlier this year because I needed to learn a about metal working. Just because, no other reason other than to satisfy my curiosity about metal lathes.Funny thing was that I couldn't find one at Home Depot, or an instructional video.

rz the 1st Oct 10, 2017 11:14 PM Permalink

As a somewhat old guy, I've been collecting tools and building my shop.Welders,plasma cutter, lotsa power tools, mini mill, new drill press and grinder, and assorted and sundry other stuff.I was looking at the Sporty I finished up the other day, and had a moment.I realised that after I cash out, there's no one in my family that has the skills or desire to make any use of the tools I've been collecting all these years.So, I came to the decision that one of my co-workers, a young guy with a family, is going to be the one to clean out the garage after I shuffle the old mortal coil.He'll do well with the stash, and I'll know that all my cool shit went to a good home, with someone who understands it's value.But for now, I'll still have a few things to build, and there are still sparks that need to fly.I hope ya'll have someone that you can pass the legacy on to....Keep reloading........

ConnectingTheDots Oct 10, 2017 11:06 PM Permalink

The root cause of this problem of millenials not being able to use a tape measure is a direct result of our educational policies.In our infinite wisdom, we choose to short change school funding (favoring the military industrial complex and Wall St), and the results were the dumbing down of our schools. The focus was to be on Reading, Writing, Math, and Science. I watched how over a decade and a half, our local school district completely cut the following programs from its offerings: Wood Shop, Metal Shop, Carpentry, Auto Shop, Computer Aided Drafting, Print Shop, Home Economics, Child Care, the entire Business Department, Work Study Program, and elemetary foreign languages.The following programs were reduced: Art, Music, High School Foreign Language,and  elementary librarians.These cuts were not limited to my local school district as similar cuts also happened in neighboring community school distircts. These cuts werre made because of the lack of economic resources, not because of a lack of student interest.You cannot make these sort of policy decisions and expect our students to be able to  do the sort of things that our generation could. With the focus only on academic subjects, we have short changed our society for the future. We cannot all be insurance salesmen, consultants, and lawyers,......... someone has to make the real world goods.

William Dorritt ConnectingTheDots Oct 11, 2017 8:57 AM Permalink

The entire Education System has been fine tuned to feeding the Ivy league with the next groups of intelligent servants for the uber class. Everyone else is a useless eater that can be outsourced to China or India or replaced with an import. De-fund the ivy league from all Govt money, they have plenty of Cash and Endowment money and don't need the welfare.

In reply to by ConnectingTheDots

Abaco ConnectingTheDots Oct 11, 2017 8:41 AM Permalink

Horse shit.  There have been no cuts to education funding except maybe in a few locales.  Hell, some states have mandated increases in spending.  The reason those programs were cut was to both to fund the massive increase in adminstrators, counsellors, curriculum developers and other parasites and because tradework became looked down upon as beneath all the snowflakes' dignity.

In reply to by ConnectingTheDots

Wilcox1 Oct 10, 2017 10:56 PM Permalink

Talk about the greatest wealth transfer ever, I count my nails and charge these dumbfucks twenty bucks each. Super cool thing is that they pay it! I've got a nice frame nailer, and just get them to buy the nails. That way, they done counted them. Makes it easy to collect. 'Dey all wint to colage an can count!

Extra Oink Oct 10, 2017 10:18 PM Permalink

I work with a gaggle of these so called "men." They are too busy celebrating "Talk Like a Pirate Day", and other such crap, to know anything about being a real man. I'd ask them to the gym, but they would be too scared to go.

historian40 Oct 10, 2017 10:18 PM Permalink

Husbands are supposed to be the head of the household.  The whole family has been attacked.  The children are the weakest and most vulnerable, and this "millenial" problem didn't just appear out of thin air.Proverbs 29:15 "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."

MuffDiver69 Oct 10, 2017 9:57 PM Permalink

What this article is really saying is a huge percentage of men are now a typical women in their ability or desire to do the basics..Most of us consider this a matter of pride and I've only worn a suit..

HulkHogan Oct 10, 2017 9:54 PM Permalink

I didnt know how to fix much when i was in my 20s either (couldn't even use a power saw). It took a lot of practice, but I'm kind of handy now (just redid the entire kitchen buy myself). Difference is that I got married, had kids and a home in my early 20s, so I had to learn to be handy. Kids today aren't getting married, having kids or buying homes until their early to mid 30s. By time they get around to being a grown up, they are missing 10-15 years of learning how to do this stuff.