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Celebrate your consumer power

With Christmas fast approaching, and most of our tendencies to do a bit of over-spend I thought it was a good time to highlight the growing power of the “Silver Dollar”, and why retailers should be thinking of ways to make the shopping experience easier for older people.

In 2011, over-65s in New Zealand spent $14b. Thanks to the growing older population, by 2031 the over-65 spend is expected to be $39b, and $65b by 2051. If their spending patterns follow current trends, the The Office for Senior Citizens’ (OSC) Business of Ageing report state older people would be spending 27% on foodstuffs, clothing and footwear, and 22% on housing and housing-related items. Older people will also be a spending force in the recreation industry, which will receive about 11% of their spend. With these figures it would be crazy for retailers to ignore this group, but there are instances where retailers don’t seem to be interested in tapping into this buying power.

It is also important to remember that technology use usually drops off after the age of 75, which means that although many retailers are moving to online platforms, older people may be more likely to shop in-store. Keeping the older person in mind when designing and laying out a store is important for retailers wanting to tap into the Silver Dollar.

Letting your voice be heard

Taking note of the needs of older people is in the best interests of savvy, forward-thinking businesses. Therefore, Have you noticed areas that might be difficult for older people to access, or found some writing (like on a restaurant menu) really hard to read? Don’t be afraid to let your voice be heard. If there are issues affecting you, the same issues will be affecting other people too, and some places might just need a gentle nudge to make their business a bit more accessible for older people.

We all love a discount

Having a SuperGold card can get you discounts for everything from movie or bus tickets to services from the council, to goods from a range of businesses. There are 8,000 SuperGold businesses and over 12,000 outlets around the country.

Make sure you ask about whether a SuperGold discount is available when you’re shopping, even if it isn’t, enough people asking might encourage even more businesses to offer great deals. Find out more about applying for and using the SuperGold card

About Eve Williams

Eve Williams
Eve Williams is the Content Developer and Social Media Administration for Eldernet. She is currently studying towards her Masters at the University of Canterbury. She has a passion for learning new things.