Empty nesters want lifestyle enhancing bells and whistles, and spend more to get them – ZoomerU

Empty nesters want lifestyle enhancing bells and whistles, and spend more to get them

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The “traditional” model of consumer lifestage spending decrees that as you get older, you spend less on your home. But that’s not what’s happening today. Empty nesters – particularly Baby Boomers – are creating highly customized living spaces designed to cater to all their needs and wants in ways that were impossible when they were raising their families.

Even if the square footage goes down (and in a surprisingly high number of cases, it goes up), the dollar spending doesn’t. Boomers at last have the chance to pack their homes with the most lifestyle-enhancing bells and whistles…and they’re doing it. “Boomer caves,” wine-tasting alcoves, movie rooms, in-home spas, home offices… the list is long and so is the list of products that can fill it.

As a result, the Zoomer age group represents by far the largest market, compared to any other age group, for products that would, in the past, have been associated with younger consumers in the “family formation” stage of life. PMB 2012 confirms this market dominance.

Home renovation

  • Zoomer consumers accounted for 60% of all Canadians who spent $5,000 – $10,000 on home renovation over the past two years; 54% of those who spent between $10,000 and $20,000; 52% of those who spent between $20,000 and $50,000; and 44% of those who spent over $50,000. No other age group comes close.

Furniture

  • 4.1 million Zoomer shoppers bought furniture in the past 12 months, representing 43% of all those who bought furniture
  • The Zoomer market accounted for 40% of those who made three to five shopping trips for furniture, and 47% of those who shopped six times or more
  • Of those who spent more than $2,000 on furniture in the past 12 months, the Zoomer group came to 1 million people, or 44% of the total

Appliances

  • Zoomer shoppers outnumbered – or came close to outnumbering – all other age groups combined, in purchasing specific appliances over the past 12 months. The Zoomer population accounted for…
    • 48% of all those who bought automatic dishwashers
    • 50% of those who bought microwaves ovens
    • 47% of those who bought refrigerators
    • 45% of those who bought freezers
    • 45% of those who bought washers and driers
    • 47% of those who bought hot tubs and whirlpool spas

Electronics

  • Over 1.2 million Zoomer consumers bought audio systems in the past 12 months, representing about half the market. Zoomer shoppers also represented half the market of those who spent $1,000 – $2,000, and half the market of those who spent over $2,000
  • Over 4 million Zoomer consumers spent $500 or more on a home theatre in the past 12 months – accounting, once again, for about half the market.

For marketers, these numbers send one message very clearly: don’t assume that empty nesters have nothing left to buy for their homes. Leaving them out of the advertising mix means ignoring literally half the entire market.

Today's Factoid

3,449,000

That's how many Zoomers worked out at a fitness club over the past year. You'd expect the younger Millennials to contribute more. You'd be wrong. They're almost a million behind -- only 2,486,000 people.   Source: Vividata Fall 2018