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The Wall Street Journal has a piece this morning about how marketers and merchants are “coming to recognize both the appetites and financial clout of the 50-plus crowd, more marketers are beginning to cater to older consumers -- and in more sophisticated ways.” By the end of the decade about a third of the US population will be 50 years old or older, and likely will control about two-thirds of the nation’s wealth…and many of them will have a wealth of experiences that they bring to the table as the formulate their needs and demands.

At 80 Home Depot stores in Florida, for example, the company is launching in-store information kiosks specially designed to cater to shoppers 50 and older. “At these kiosks, customers will be able to get tips and brochures on modifications they may want to make to their kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and entryways -- for a smoother transition to retirement and to remain independent in later life,” the paper reports, noting that Home Depot believes that half the growth in home improvement spending in the next five years will come from the 50+ demographic group.

And at, according to its president/CEO Mitch Rhodes, roughly a third of its online at-home shoppers are 50 or older, which means that the company has tweaked the offering to cater to what Rhodes calls “a discriminating crowd” that has sophisticated and demanding tastes.

"We're steadily trying to grow this, targeting the zoomer population," Rhodes tells the WSJ, which reports that “the company launched delivery services in 2001 but in the following year put its grocery pickers through extensive training to match boomers' discriminating tastes. Last year, for instance, began sending meat orders to the in-store butcher for custom cuts, rather than picking customers' requests from packages in the meat counter. The company also began delivering pharmacy prescriptions with grocery orders and this year added deli trays to its online lineup for those last-minute boomer parties.”

The biggest mistake in catering to this demographic group, according to marketers: calling them “senior citizens.”
KC's View:
Damn right.

Maybe we’re delusional. But we’re 50 years old, and we read these stories and can’t even imagine that we’re in this demographic.

Hell, we don’t even like being called “middle aged.”