06 January 2009

Retailers Aren't Sensitive to the Needs of Baby Boomers

An email:

I'm a 48 year old baby boomer re-entering the world of advertising. I've been absent over the last 18 years, got into commission sales with my husband and lost track…

Sharpie I feel like Rip Van Winkle who woke up in Back To the Future in the world of advertising. Did I miss anything? Never knew a sharpie marker and layout paper was destined to be programmed, digitalized, so sophisticated, in a different language - and then had to be plugged in.

I do have a gripe over the advertising in this last holiday season. The retailers aren't sensitive to the needs of the baby boomers. Especially in women's clothing. I've repeatedly read over the years that many baby boomers are in extend and plus sizes - but it’s not reflected in the departments in the stores. Those departments are the smallest department with little available.

I did without this go around. I have plenty of winter clothes, nice stuff, some I haven't even worn - so I didn't buy anything. I shop all over the place, not loyal to any retail or grocery store.

I'm tempted to do a marketing study for a major retailer I once worked for as a newspaper artist, and take pictures of what people are really wearing.  I’ll start in malls. You'd be surprised what’s shown in the stores vs. what people are wearing.

I currently live in Houston. Like I said I'm not loyal to anyone. I even buy at Wal-Mart. But now I weigh carefully as to what I buy, going for value, not just price.

I've been studying television and there's a lot of great creative going on, but I guess it’s not working because of the state of the economy. They're still running commercials with a  sense of urgency like if you don't hurry in they'll all be gone! That approach alone kept me from shopping. Like I’m responsible for them overcharging me all these years, seducing me with credit cards and making me feel like I'm responsible for bailing them out when they’re threatening to lay me off? Maybe they should humbly lower the interest rates on their cards, even give time-framed zero percent interest promotions on their store cards.

And one more thing about what’s going on in the world of advertising: the creative on television is great, but my husband, your average consumer, isn't impressed. He thinks all the advertising people have all this digital software and are trying to outdo each other! I’ve been studying it on the receiving end for the last 18 years. I don't want all this crap thrown at me. I want something specially selected for me at a value price and I want it available in my size.

Stop hyping and seduce me back into the store.

Paula Melton

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