Retailers and manufacturers of inclusive products for the home are overlooking the needs of the growing and potentially lucrative over 50s consumer group, new research suggests.
A report by the Centre for Ageing Better indicates that there is a gap in the market to target this group with a greater and more diverse range of products, particularly those found in the kitchen or bathroom, that are attractive, affordable and easy for everyone to use, regardless of their ability.
Over 50s are responsible for half of all household spend in the UK, according to 2019 estimates from International Longevity Centre (ILC UK), but the research found that less than half (40%) of those aged 50 and over believe that retailers of home products, including fixtures, fittings, appliances, and furniture, understand the needs of people their age.
ILC UK also estimates that 50s are expected to spend £550 billion by 2040, £221 billion more than projected spending by younger households.
This report is based on research with consumers involving a small-scale survey, in-home visits, accompanied shopping visits, focus groups and national polling.
The Centre for Ageing Better says it is likely that demand for inclusive, easy-to-use products, fixtures and fittings for the home will only increase in the next 30 years as more people move into their sixties, seventies and eighties.
The overwhelming majority of these people, evidence suggests, will want to remain living independently at home for as long as possible, and inclusive home products could play a key role in enabling them to do this.
Ploy Suthimai, Innovation and Change Officer at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “The over 50s represent a rapidly growing and lucrative market that retailers continue to overlook.
“Inclusively designed products work for everyone. It’s not a niche or specialist market, and like everyone else over 50s consumers want products that are stylish and look good in their homes.
“In the aftermath of the pandemic, and with the age profile of consumers shifting dramatically in the next decade and beyond, retailers have an opportunity to expand their product ranges and deliver inclusive products that work for all ages and abilities.”