Retail therapy is all about leaving the cares of the world behind and shopping for something nice – just for the heck of it! So how come there’s some nasty undertones creeping into the marketing world – especially in regards to catering to older women? To find out about retail therapy – what the marketers really think about the older woman, keep reading!

Having dipped my toes into the marketing world, I was interested enough to buy my first marketing magazine to find out a) what they know and b) what I should know. Scanning my way through the magazine, it was all the usual stuff – branding, on and offline marketing tactics, Facebook marketing, yadda yadda yadda, and I was enjoying the read – until the last article.

What I discovered in those pages left me gobsmacked – literally!

Retail therapy has been known for years to be all about cheering oneself up and taking your mind off your troubles – whether you are old or young. It’s about buying something nice to put a spring in your step and feeling more attractive. It’s about having a shopping experience that turns into an expedition. Coming back with an armful of bargains can leave a gal feeling quite exhilarated – whatever her age!

So who wants to know what the marketers REALLY think about the older woman?

The article I am referring to was discussing whether the UK’s oldest brand store should continue to steer its fashions to cater for women of all ages, or whether they should let the younger women dictate and simply let the older ‘clients’ die out (literally). The author’s point was that “British business is particularly vulnerable to growing old and dying with its consumers “but as marketers we must always serve the brand before the consumer”.

Apparently, in the retail and fashion world, the game is played in 4 steps:

1) Attract the teenager

2) Make as much money as you can from the 20+s

3) Have a last fling with the middle-aged

4) Ditch the 60 year olds

Why? Not because they aren’t attractive enough for the fashion store’s brand of retail therapy, but because they are a bad target choice. And why is she such a bad target choice?

Because the older woman buys fewer clothes than she did as a 30 year old, so “SHE IS WORTH LESS”.

This is a direct quote from the columnist and I’ve put it in capitals because it is so awful. He goes on to say that “older consumers have less lifetime value than their younger peers.” Bear in mind that this chap is an “associate professor of marketing” and a consultant to some of the biggest brands in the world.

He goes on to say that this particular store should do everything it can to stop the over 60’s buying it’s clothes. After all, it doesn’t want to face “Death by brand loyalty”.

If you like retail therapy – this IS what the marketers think about the older woman! Never mind the fact that quite a large chunk of Baby Boomer women are very rich. A report just out cites 3 new trends in the older woman – baby boomer market:

1) Older women earn more money than ever before

2) Older women control more money than ever before

3) Older women are inheriting more money than ever before – (a double inheritance comes from parents and the husbands they have outlived).

So there you have it, girls. Retail therapy in all its glory, unearthed to reveal the barest bones. This is what an influential marketer thinks about the older women – and when he’s finished consulting with the other big brands in the world – probably what they will too!

Thankfully, not all marketers are tarred with the same brush, and there are a gazillion businesses out there who extend a warm welcome to older women (and men!) for their wit, warmth, energy and drive. I happen to be one of them – and if you are interested enough to find out why – check my business out now. Age is never a barrier to the online business world, so jump on board! I hope you have enjoyed reading ‘retail therapy – what the marketers really think about the older woman!’ Don’t forget to leave a comment and have your say.