Monday, January 19, 2009

Baby Boomers Consumer Shift Is "The New Fru"

The new frugality -- "The New Fru," as it is sweeping the country, and Baby Boomer behavior is central to the massive shift in consumer behavior. As a recent article in Newsday, which covered the National Retail Convention in Manhattan last week, quotes Matt Thornhill of "For the last 40 years, boomers were the economic engine of retail, and they have quite naturally reached the stage of life, their 50s and beyond, where they are less interested in buying stuff and more interested in having enriching life experiences. They are just now in that stage, and it happens to coincide with a pretty significant and long-lasting recession. Delivering a message consistent with the Boomer Project's was Carl Steidtmann, chief economist for Deloitte Research's consumer business: "After every recession, you see a return to simplicity. It usually doesn't last longer than the recession, but this time it will." And then there was Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart: In Wal-Mart's customer surveys shoppers said they had given up eating out, going to the movies and shopping, and "they talked about how good they felt about doing it." Consumer behavior was once dictated by the impact caused by the Baby Boom beginning in 1946 and is now being affected again directly due to the influence of Baby Boomers.