In light of recent slow sales in clothing results over the last quarter of 2015 and the Christmas period by many UK retailers, new research is suggesting that retailers need to tap into the potential of the ‘grey pound’ by targeting consumers aged 55+.

Research from garment fit specialist Fits.me suggests that retailers need to tap more for the over-55s when it comes to clothes shopping as this demanding audience are feeling “underserved” by their current shopping experience.

In a recent national survey of UK clothes shoppers, Fits.me discovered that over a third (35 percent) of shoppers over the age of 55 regularly shop for clothes online, while a further 34 percent occasionally shop for clothes on the internet. However, just under a quarter of this age group (24 percent) often or always find it hard to locate what they’re looking for when shopping both in-store and online for clothes, and some 40 percent always or often actively find the process of finding the garments they are looking for irritating while shopping for clothes.

The ‘grey pound’ of shoppers represents 22 million individuals, or 36 percent of the UK population, while the over 50s account for 47 percent of the UK’s consumer spending, representing 320 billion pounds per year, according to 2015 research from Saga and the Centre for Economic and Business Research, which suggests that the ‘grey pound’ should not be ignored.

The research also found that shoppers aged over 55 are the least likely age group to claim loyalty to any single clothing retailer, and the most likely of all shopper age groups to shop around to find the items they are looking for. While 30 percent stated that they were likely to shop around for the brands they like, compared to just 7 percent of 18-24-year-olds.

This means that there is an opportunity for brands who can successful target and engage with the ‘grey pound’ audience.

Stuart Simms, chief executive officer of Fits.me, said: “The clothing retail landscape has been tough on many stores in recent months, and this research highlights that many older demographics of shopper feel underserved by clothes shopping in general.

“Stores looking to boost their growth might do well to learn more about this demographic, the kinds of clothes they are looking to buy and how they want to access them, in a landscape which often focuses on younger, more fashion-forward shoppers.”

 

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