Grey consumers are all the same, they even dress the same – myth or reality?

Damijan Mumel (University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia)
Jadranka Prodnik (High School for Business and Commerce, Celje, Slovenia)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this research was to test the statement. “All older people are the same” and answer the question if professional and social activity play an important role in dividing the respondents into different segments in the field of apparel shopping. We examined seven aspects of apparel consumer behaviour: where do our respondents buy apparel and how often in each retail place, do they like shopping, how often they buy apparel, how much they spend, who/what influence them to buy, who/how influence on their clothing style and other statements about consumer behaviour related with apparel.


First, the results of 271 older consumers of apparel through multiplicity sample were collected. Then an a priori segmentation based on social and professional activity was conducted.


Based on the survey, it can be concluded that it is not true that “all older people are the same”, as far, as the apparel business is concerned. The population observed is not homogeneous, although the differences are not so obvious and numerous as one could expect.

Research limitations/implications

This paper demonstrates a simple a priori segmentation based on professional and social activities of respondents. In further research it is inevitably to compare results with a posteriori segmentation based on cluster analysis or discriminant analysis.

Practical implications

The results are useful for product, place, price, and promotion management and through this for planning differential marketing mixes for separate older consumer segments.


The value of this article is to extend our knowledge in the field of apparel behaviour of older consumers, and to demonstrate how useful could be just two simple questions (about professional and social activities) in differentiating older consumers regarding apparel behaviour.



Mumel, D. and Prodnik, J. (2005), "Grey consumers are all the same, they even dress the same – myth or reality?", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 434-449.

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