When Brian Gordon and his partners started ebeanstalk.com, which sells children’s learning toys online, they expected most of business to come from younger consumers starting families. But a recent customer survey found that up to 40 percent were actually older, mainly grandparents.
“If you’d asked me if 4 out of 10 people would be grandparents, I’d have said, ‘No, that’s not going to happen,’ ” Gordon said.
Also surprising, Gordon says, is that despite the economy, sales are up about 65 percent so far this year compared with a year earlier. He attributed that largely to older consumers, who “are our most demanding customers” but are more willing than their younger counterparts are to pay full price.
The experience of ebeanstalk.com illustrates a growing trend as the recession grinds on: an increasing interest in marketing goods and services to consumers age 50 and older. Among those aiming more at the older demographic are giants like Chrysler, Kraft Foods, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble and Target.
Photo by hortongrou.