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Monday, April 28, 2008

Chase the Silver Foxes

The UK, like the US and the rest of Europe is getting a tad worried about the resilience of consumer spending. More accurately the lack of resilience of consumer spending.

CACI has been analysing the demographics of the UK and concluded that the closer you get to London the more likely consumers are going to be able to plough on through the credit crunch unscathed. The folks living in the frozen north of the country are in for a tough time.

The age group that CACI has identified as most resilient to economic downturns are the over-55s that it terms the “silver foxes” (don’t you just hate these daft names).

This group is 1.5 times more likely than the average household to have an income of more than £100,000. This group accounts for 14% of the population and analysts estimate that they have £23bn to spend on discretionary items, such as clothing, books and CDs, irrespective of a downturn. That is out of total pot of £153bn.

The article in the Observer, where this is all discussed, provides a pen sketch of the foxy rich oldies.
The Silver Foxes are a fifty-something couple living in Epsom, Surrey. He manages the finances; she shops at Marks & Spencer. They are well-informed readers who keep on top of the financial pages. Their favourite food stores are Sainsbury's and M&S, but they also have a penchant for John Lewis.

Most are retired and settled at their financial peaks in pleasant locales, such as Guildford, Winchester and Tunbridge Wells. They are unfazed by house prices as they are mortgage-free and the children have left home. Their savings will be double, often treble, the norm.
I call this group the Charmed Generation. If you prefer Silver Foxes, or rich oldies it doesn't matter - they are a group of consumers that all companies should be targetting. Dick Stroud

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