Retailers appeal to older shoppers – without treating them as ‘old’

A rash of major fashion retailers including Gap Inc. and Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. failed in their launch of separate boomer chains about a decade ago. Why? Because older consumers don’t want to be reminded of their age.

Now, retailers ranging from drug stores to fashion and home-renovation specialists are betting they can win over the potentially lucrative boomer market with up-to-date products, but a more subtle pitch, while not overlooking millennials.2015-12-11_10-15-24

This ‘music to my ears’ comes from an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Here are a few examples from the article;

  1. Consumers in their 50s and 60s quickly became the best customers and biggest spenders for TheSeptember.com, an upscale e-commerce shoe business . They often spend twice as much as or more than their younger cohorts. It prompted the business to tweak its offerings by adding more comfortable styles with platform heels or flats. But they are careful not to trumpet them as “comfy” because they realised that older customers tend to associate the word with dowdy and reject them.
  2. London Drugs has started to mount larger, more readable price signs on store shelves;
  3. Older customers make up about 40 per cent of overall home improvement sales at Home Depot. In response, they are trying to satisfy a burgeoning appetite for “do-it-for-me” services. Boomers also are increasingly embracing the smart home, which allows them to control remotely such things as appliances, lights, locks, thermostats and doorbells with video cameras, he says.
  4. Fashion chains Penningtons and Addition Elle chains are responding to the demand for larger sizes with such fashions as a line of “extra stretch” chic jeans called d/c (“denim without compromise”).