Published On: Mon, May 29th, 2017

Fashion Shopping Behaviors for Women over 50

Bonmarche, a UK based fashion retailer that focuses specifically on the woman over 45, has revealed new insights on the shopping habits of the over 50 woman in the UK, and how this should change the way fashion is marketed.

UK fashion retailer Bonmarche has looked into the fashion shopping habits of women over 50, which is there demographic. What they found is that these women spend around £7 billion per year on fashion, yet they are massively underrepresented in the advertising world. This is something that Bonmarche aims to address.

A spokesperson for Bonmarche says: “Every year, the over 50s contribute around £500 billion to our economy. 50% of incomes in this country belong to the over 50s. Best of all, spending in this age category is rising rapidly, with £6.7 billion being spent just on womenswear! While younger women spend more each year, they are actually spending less. We feel that advertising towards the woman over 50 is therefore absolutely vital.”

photo/ Manuel Alejandro Leon via Pixabay

Older women are incredibly diverse in terms of what they look for and what they buy. The difficulty is, however, that there is no set age during which a woman’s style changes. Rather, this is a gradual process. But what is certainly true is that the main 10 fashion retailers in the United Kingdom are growing thanks to the market of over 50 women.

Bonmarche decided to research exactly how women spent their money in this age category. They found that:

  • 41% was spent on clothing, accessories, and footwear for themselves.
  • There was a 9% increase in the money spent on dresses.
  • There was a 2% increase in overall spending in the over 50s.

According to the Bonmarche spokesperson: “Spending on dresses is up in the over 50s. Interestingly, it is up across every age range. This means that what is fashionable for women is not related to their age. But what matters is that those who are over 50 have a greater spending power, and this means they should be marketed towards. But we feel that we have to focus now on lifestyle and attitude, and not specifically at age.”

There has been another very important trend, and that is that the over 50s seem to be bargain hunters. In fact, the Bonmarche research revealed 42% of total spend was on discounted items. They feel that this is because older women are more conscious of value for money. Interestingly, there were some other key differences in spending between the age groups. Specifically:

  • The over 50s pay less on average for items than the under 35 in general.
  • The over 50s pay more on average for outerwear than the under 35s.
  • The over 50s pay more on average for accessories like handbags than the under 35s.

What this suggests is that price is important, but so is quality. Older women will gladly pay more for a bag, but that is because they know it will last for more than one season.

A final element that Bonmarche looked into, is the fact that older women now also shop online. The representative says: “There has been a 6% growth in the number of women over 50 who shop online. Not just that, the over 55s are now seen as this country’s most dominant internet user group, more so than those aged between 25 and 34.”

In terms of the demographics of over 50s online shoppers, Bonmarche found that:

  • There were 9.5 million shoppers in total.
  • Just over 50% of those are 60+.
  • The average woman over 50 spends £272 twice a year on fashion, 17% of which is spent online.

What this clearly shows is that marketers and advertisers need to rethink the messages they put out there, and how they send out these messages.

Author: Anwar Hossain

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