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Silver seniors: Exploring the self‐concept, lifestyles, and apparel consumption of women over age 65

Jane Boyd Thomas (College of Business Administration, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA)
Cara Lee Okleshen Peters (College of Business Administration, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 6 November 2009

3456

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Citation

Boyd Thomas, J. and Lee Okleshen Peters, C. (2009), "Silver seniors: Exploring the self‐concept, lifestyles, and apparel consumption of women over age 65", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 37 No. 12, pp. 1018-1040. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550911005001

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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