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The over-55s are the future of retail – is your POS turning them away?

middle aged couple Retailers must adapt to attract an army of silver-haired shoppers who will dominate the shopping centres of the future, a recent report out suggests. Relatively low growth and the ongoing switch to online shopping will drive a 10% drop in store numbers according to Conlumino, the retail market research company which produced the report. The over-55s will contribute nearly two-thirds of retail sales growth over the next decade as the baby boomers head into retirement. The ageing population will continue to fuel retail sales growth at 2.4% over the next 10 years reaching a total of £377bn by 2022. However, that growth runs significantly below the average 4.5% enjoyed during the late 1990s.

Retailers will have to up their game to win sales, say Conlumino.  "The older shopper of tomorrow is very different from today. They are a lot more savvy and demanding in terms of customer services and they are more attuned to fashion trends which they want adapted to suit their age bracket," says Neil Saunders from Conlumino. He says those retailers who can get the formula right have a great opportunity to take market share from some of today's brands who are still creating products for the "Miss Marple generation".

POS display must play an important role here. Older customers require clear communications, both about the product range itself, the prices and brand information, but they also need guiding around the store. After many years of retail experience, the over-55s will be looking for great service levels and these too can be supported by exceptional, effective and innovative shop and retail displays. The reward will be the loyalty of a well-connected network of older retailers who can act as brand ambassadors and evangelists without ever joining Facebook.

The very simplest elements are perhaps the most important when creating effective POS. The type and size of font used, the colours of your print (and how colours are placed against each other) and even the tone and language used are all incredibly important. Clarity, simplicity and clear communications become more important as the consumers gets older.

A first start might be to carry out an audit of your displays, perhaps asking some of the target market to visit the store and report on your communications, display and level of service. Ask them to be as honest as possible, and make sure you action their suggestions as the first step in making your shop, café or store a great place for the over-55s – and the first step towards ensuring the future of your business!

Remember to watch this space as we will be releasing a range of great blogs over the coming months. Our readers can also find our Wrights Plastics GPX Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WrightsPlasticsGPX. For all the latest goings on, you can keep up-to-date with Wrights Plastics GPX on Twitter https://twitter.com/WrightsGPX. And we also now have an Wrights Plastics GPX Google+ page live at https://plus.google.com/u/0/117105393331417807514/posts.