Today, 14 per cent of Canada’s population is over the age of 65,
a percentage that’s expected to increase to between 20 per cent
and 25 per cent by 2026. The nation’s nearly 10 million baby
boomers (people born between 1946 and 1965) are now between
42 and 61 years of age and represent a major market.
IMPLICATIONS: The large number of boomers turning 60
presents gift shops with new opportunities. An average of
500,000 Canadians will celebrate their 60th, and then 65th,
birthday annually for the next 20 years, and no doubt many gifts
will be exchanged to celebrate these milestones. The many
retirement parties that will be held also present opportunities
for store owners to market gifts targeted to retirement
celebrations, from engraved pens and framed artwork to home
accessories and novelty items.
Boomers may also be increasingly interested in gifts for
themselves in addition to gifts for others. As they retire and have
more leisure time and discretionary income, they’re more likely to
view shopping as a leisure activity, especially when it comes to
browsing in smaller shops that offer unusual and unique products.
Marketers also expect boomers to spend their increased leisure
time on travel, resulting in a growing tourist market. Although
vacation travel will likely be increasing, retired boomers may also
engage in one-day getaways from the big cities to visit nearby
small towns. These trips often include browsing in smaller shops.
Once their children leave home, many boomers will move out
of their large family homes into downtown condos or
retirement/adult communities (great places to open stores).
Such moves present opportunities for gift shops to offer
tableware, decorative items and other nice-to-have amenities
which were likely out of reach to these consumers when they
purchased their first home.
The large number of
boomers turning 60
presents gift shops with
CONCLUSION: The changing demographics revealed by the
2006 Census will have an impact on all Canadian businesses.
However, store owners should pay attention to more than just
the statistics. They also need to monitor the changing attitudes
and values of their target audiences. Although it’s useful to
identify national demographic trends, businesses need to look
carefully at the demographic shifts in their own markets and
trade areas. An understanding of their existing clients, their
values and the changing demographics of their community will
help store owners adjust their business plans accordingly and
thrive in the new Canada.