As the World Ages: What Are the Retailing Implications?

People in the United States and around the globe are living longer now than in the past. For example, according to the National Vital Statistics Report, a typical 50-year-old male in the United States now has a future life expectancy of about 30 years (five years longer than in 1970), and a typical 50-year-old U.S. female now has a future life expectancy of more than 33 years (four years longer than in 1970). This includes all races and ethnic groups.
As we age, we often change our eating habits, travel, medical needs, personal hygiene, housing, recreation, and other goods and services. It is imperative that retailers act accordingly.
According to Merrill Lynch:

“The face of aging will never be the same, as the 78 million Americans approaching retirement, plus millions more overseas, transform how we live, work and invest. All across the globe, companies, governments, and society are scrambling to harness the energy and meet the needs of an aging global population. Consider a few of the ways the world is preparing for this longevity revolution:”
“In the U.S., according to the Global Coalition on Aging, a drugstore chain noticed that aging customers, the core of its clientele and crucial for the firm’s profitability, tended to seek out older employees for assistance. To encourage would-be retirees to keep working, the chain offered those who spent winters in warmer climes the option to split their time between store locations and to work flexible hours.”
“The World Health Organization’s honor roll of 210 Global Age-Friendly Cities and Communities includes Portland, Ore., and New York City. These cities meet a long list of criteria ranging from having plenty of public transportation to offering job opportunities, accessible spaces, and socially inclusive policies for older residents. These attributes ‘also make them better places for everyone to live,’ says Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging.”
“[Globally,] the number of people over age 60 is already close to 1 billion and is expected to double by mid-century — to nearly a quarter of the planet’s population, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. And, financial forecasting firm Oxford Economics has found that, in the U.S. alone, the ‘longevity economy’ — the goods and services Americans over 50 consume and the industries that serve them — already generates $7.1 trillion annually and should grow to $13.5 trillion by 2032, when it is expected to account for more than half of U.S. gross domestic product.
 
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This entry was posted in Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to As the World Ages: What Are the Retailing Implications?

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