Purpose – One of the fastest growing segments of the American adult population is adults over 65‐years old. This group is refereed to as “silver seniors.” Understanding the silver citizen market requires an in‐depth knowledge of seniors' attitudes and lifestyles. The purpose of this paper is to present an in‐depth view of the senior woman's self‐concept, lifestyle, and apparel‐related preferences and shopping behaviors. Design/methodology/approach – Using findings from an extensive review of literature and in‐depth interviews with 20 women over age 65, this exploratory research provides insight into the impact of self‐concept, lifestyles, and fashion behaviors on apparel purchase decisions. The qualitative approach used for data collection and analysis provides rich insight into the behaviors and apparel needs of “silver seniors.” The tripartite self‐concept is explored as it relates to fashion attitudes and behaviors. Findings – Findings from this paper indicate that women over 65 are still interested in fashion and that looking fashionable for themselves and others is important. Insights into the specific unmet apparel and retail needs of senior adult women are explored. Findings indicate that senior adult women continue to remain physically and socially active and have need for a variety of garments. Recommendations for apparel manufacturers and retailers targeting this lucrative segment are presented. Originality/value – This paper is original to the retailing and consumer behavior literature. One of the benefits of this exploratory study is that it provided the authors with an opportunity to examine, in theory and practice, an overlooked yet growing segment of apparel consumers.
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 6, 2009
Keywords: Fashion; Lifestyles; Older consumers; Women; Consumer behaviour; United States of America
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