Homeware products for the over 50s?

Designing for the future

Published by Steve Foreman on Jul 20, 2021

The Centre for Ageing Better has recently released a report that states our needs are not being met, when it comes to homewares, appliances and fittings. This is despite the over 50s currently accounting for around 54 per cent of total household consumer spending. As the population continues to age this figure will only increase, but currently we are a market that most retailers do not recognise, let alone cater for.

As the population ages, more and more of us want to live independently for as long as possible but that does not mean that we want products specially developed for ’older people’. The report states that ‘Good inclusive home products are easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing and affordable. They are designed for everyone, but their features and ease of use can help people to remain living independently in their own homes as they grow older and if their needs change……..Our research indicates that there is a gap in the market that is not effectively meeting the needs of the growing and potentially lucrative over 50s consumer group who are expected to spend £550 billion a year by 2040’.

The report goes on to discuss that we do not want products specifically designed for old people, they need to be functional but not at the expense of appearance, they should still be aesthetically pleasing! The report also states, ‘Our work with consumers suggests that retailers and others involved in the development, design and manufacture of home products need to provide a greater and more diverse range of products that are attractive, affordable and easy for everyone to use, regardless of their ability.’

Where appropriate products do already exist, the report found that the marketing and display material instore was significantly lacking in information, often not informing potential buyers of the benefits of a particular product. Store staff were also lacking knowledge and skills when dealing with older customers. As buyers, we need to be able to make an informed choice, which is currently very difficult.

As Boldies, we are an ever-increasing market with needs that are not currently being met by the major retailers. Given our huge spending power, surely this will soon begin to change.

To read the report in full click [**here**](https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2021-07/The-missing-market-inclusive-products.pdf)

Do you agree, share your thoughts at alive@theboldage.com