The nation is so preoccupied with our slow crawl out of the recession that Boomers haven’t been in the limelight much.
The nation is so preoccupied with our slow crawl out of the recession that Boomers haven’t been in the limelight much. That’s because much of the earlier talk about Boomers celebrated their buying power, their persistence, their individuality, and their ability to create opportunities and shape the country rather than be shaped by outside forces.
Certainly, many are still on that pleasant path. But few flaunt it if they’re that fortunate—because they know that countless others have suffered harsh financial hits the past two years: jobs and pensions vanished, and home values and retirement savings diminished, while health care, food, energy and education costs rose.
While Boomers aren’t a homogeneous group—there are many kinds among them—it is probably accurate to say today that the recession took the steam out of their collective buying power and their personal buying passions. This difference has been felt not only by car dealers and department stores, but also by restaurants (less dining out) and supermarkets (numerous savings strategies, such as trading down from preferred brands). No wonder food stores have had trouble attaining strong comps.
The National Grocers Association SupermarketGuru 2010 Consumer Survey Report—just posted on the NGA & SG website and the topic of my live presentation at the NGA Annual Convention—gives many critical insights for retailers. Among them: a taste of post-recession life for Americans between the ages of 50 and 64. People in this age group accounted for 48% of our respondents in this national research study. The first of the Boomers turn 65 this year. Here are some of the findings which we feel are most influenced by them: