ECONOMY

Untapped consumer group

Women over 60 years of age make up a consumer segment that contributes significantly to the annual turnover of cosmetics products sold at pharmacies and other retail stores. Even though this group of consumers spends nearly one-fourth of their monthly income on services and products designed to improve their quality of life and external appearance, it is still regarded as terra incognita. Their consumer attitudes have not been analyzed and very little research has been conducted into their purchasing habits. As shown in a study by the Panteion University, personal spending, i.e. for clothing, footwear, cosmetics and beauty salon care, accounts for the greatest part of the overall spending of women aged 60-plus. In contrast and despite traditional perceptions held by the public of women over 60, they tend to spend significantly less for the support of relatives (children, grandchildren etc). In addition, the greatest part of annual expenditure by women over 60 is aimed at improving their quality of life: Annual spending on excursions and holidays, for instance, accounts for more than a month’s living expenses. Interestingly, annual savings and spending for health purposes are much lower than a month’s living expenses. Typically, a woman in this age category who spends a monthly 674 euros on household upkeep will also spend 200 euros a month on cosmetics. A paltry 77 euros is estimated to be spent on supporting relatives. Interestingly, women over 60 annually allocate 332 euros for savings and spend 171.4 euros on health and 700 euros on holidays and personal care. The study observes a new trend that reflects the need of women over 60 to enjoy an upgraded standard of living, in contrast with the traditional picture of such women saving heavily and investing in health services. It further points to the dynamic of a group of women in Greece who remain socially active and claim for themselves a self-motivated role. They are optimistic about the future and have high expectations from life, while placing great emphasis on appearance, health, eating and quality of life in general. The Panteion study concludes that women over the age of 60 wish to place themselves at the forefront of the family and friends environment. Public space is seen as an action field. They are highly interested in and care about their public image, while at the same time accepting traditional family values.