OPERATIONS

A.T. Kearney study sees big opportunity for retailers in aging consumers

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Meeting the needs of aging consumers offers retailers and brand marketers a major opportunity going forward, according to a new study by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

Mature consumers form a worldwide market segment that spent $8 trillion in 2010 and will be spending $15 trillion annually by the end of this decade, the study estimated. Based on current worldwide demographic trajectories, in five years there will be more people over the age of 60 than under five; in 30 years, there will be more people over 60 than under 16.

Among the study’s findings: The mature consumer shops very differently from the younger generation.

Although most retailers focus on speed and price competitiveness, mature consumers, who represent up to 30% in spending power, are more demanding on quality and services, and are less price sensitive. They also spend more time in stores.

“For retailers,” said James Morehouse, A.T. Kearney partner and VP, “aging may mean a paradigm shift in the design of stores and retail chains.”

According to Morehouse, mature consumers want personal attention from friendly, talkative cashiers, not speed. They also want smaller stores closer to home, and a clear, organized assortment with high-quality products at good prices, not unlimited choice of cheap, average-quality products or quantity-based promotions.

In another finding, the study found that the views of respondents seem to intensify, or to shift, after the age of 80.

“The over-80s are globally much more loyal to established brands, and less willing to spend money on products that offer health benefits or are considered ‘green,’”said Martin Walker, senior director of A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council. “After the age of 80, respondents are markedly more eager to have age-specific products and shopping environments tailored for them. It is almost as if 80 is the new point of self-definition for becoming old. If so, this represents a noticeable change from the traditional concept that old age begins at retirement.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

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OPERATIONS

Safeway appoints its first-ever medical officer

BY Marianne Wilson

Pleasanton, Calif. — Safeway announced that Dr. Kent Bradley has joined the company as chief medical officer, a newly created position focused on further enhancing and building Safeway’s reputation as a healthcare innovator. He joins Safeway after a distinguished career in the U.S. Army, where he earned the rank of Colonel and served in a wide of range assignments.

At Safeway, Bradley will have overall responsibility for developing and guiding the company’s portfolio of health care programs including its employee and consumer wellness and prevention activities. He will also assist the company’s Safeway Health subsidiary on a range of business initiatives.

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STORE SPACES

KFC awarded LEED Gold

BY Staff Writer

New York City — A KFC restaurant in Indianapolis has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the state’s first LEED-certified retail establishment.

KFC was awarded certification on a number of green design and construction features, including energy efficiency. The restaurant is designed to use 25% less energy and water than a conventional KFC restaurant. It features energy-efficient cooking equipment, low-power, LED lighting, locally sourced building materials, fixtures designed for lower water use, waste recycling (including cooking oil and plastics) and many other green innovations.

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