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The Wall Street Journal has a great piece this morning about how the inevitability of aging will impact how and where baby boomer shop as they move into their late sixties and seventies: “Current store layouts present challenges for elderly shoppers, experts say. Worsening eyesight makes finding items more frustrating, arthritis complicates browsing and reduced balance intensifies the strain of stooping or reaching for products.”

However, manufacturers and retailers may be more motivated to do something about the situation, since aging baby boomers are expected to spend $50 billion or more over the next 10 years on various CPG items … assuming they can see them and find them. Furthermore, the Journal writes, “The number of adults aged 65 and older will reach 71.5 million people by 2030, twice their number in 2000 and representing nearly 20% of the total U.S. population, according to estimates by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.”

That means coming up with shelves, colors, lighting and typefaces that are user-friendly for aging consumers – and working with companies such as Kimberly Clark, which has developed a program that allows marketers to put themselves in the shoes – literally – of these older shoppers.
KC's View:
Every time I can't read a prescription label, or the instructions on a pillbox, or even the nutrition label on a food item, I’m reminded of how fast this time is coming. The Journal has it right – retailers and manufacturers have to prepare now, or be irrelevant tomorrow.