ICSC: Watch out for the silver-gray tsunami (EU)

Consumers will be 30% richer in 10 years, said Jesper Bo Jensen, Futurist and CEO of Denmark-based Fremforsk, but will they still be buying goods from shopping centers?

Jesper Bo Jenson 2

Jesper Bo Jensen.

Not if those centers do not change to meet the needs of tomorrow's consumer.

But who is tomorrow's consumer? According to Jesper Bo Jensen, speaking at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) European Research Seminar in Amsterdam on November 5, it's not the under-30s, cash-rich, time poor urbanite that most shopping centers are geared towards at the moment – or not exclusively, anyway.

It will be the previously overlooked over-50s who are more likely to have the time and the spending power, he said.

Of course, there are exceptions, in Turkey and Iceland where the birthrates are higher, but in parts of Central Eastern Europe, the birthrates are very low.

He said: "If you see this tsunami coming to your shopping center and you are catering for the younger consumer, watch out," he said.

And for this target group, forget huge shopping centers, think small, well-targeted shopping centers well positioned alongside residential areas in city centers with plenty of community space and other services.

"Shopping is not about visiting a shopping center – these days that happens before you go, through advertising and on-line research. A shopping center needs to have plenty going on to attract the consumer."

Source: Nicky Godding

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