Seniors Viewed As Important Growth Market

Seniors Viewed As Important Growth Market

If you aren't marketing your kitchen and bath products and services to older Americans, you're missing an important and vital part of the economy, demographic and marketing experts contend.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, the median income of households headed by those aged 65 or older is $33,148, and about 47% of those households have annual incomes above $35,000. In fact, the elderly are estimated to control more than 50% of the nation's discretionary income and 77% of the country's assets. More than four million of them are employed, or are seeking work.

Further, this is a market that will grow considerably as the current generation of baby boomers continues to age. There will be 40 million Americans 65 or older by 2010, and 70 million by the year 2030. And by then, minority groups will make up more than 25% of seniors.
These senior citizens, marketing experts say, are hungry for information. About 15% of those people using the Internet now are 55 or older, and that number will further grow.

This is a market that will seek kitchen, bath and other-room designs that do not require bending and stretching, and with an emphasis on safety. The focus will be on creating spaces that are flexible enough to permit aging in place.

Bathrooms will need grab bars and seating, as well as thermostatic controls for water. Kitchens will need to be accessible, with more user-friendly workstations. These spaces will also have to be aesthetically pleasing and not scream "different."

Therefore, marketing and design experts state, kitchen and bath specialists will have to bone up on the concepts that govern universal design.
The senior citizen market is also a market that may be shedding older homes to move to communities suited to their needs. Also, kitchen and bath pros should be sure to market affordable designs to them that will offer trouble-free room upgrades and boost resale value.