Dutch retail loses revenue from seniors

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Even though the population in the Netherlands continues aging, retailers are hardly profiting from it. On the contrary, it will cost Dutch sellers 2 percent in revenue by 2032. Therefore merchants should focus more on the elderly, researchers say.

Dutch bank ABN AMRO commissioned a survey among 3.800 respondents in the Netherlands. Previous research showed that 80 percent of Dutch elders shop online regularly. However, they often face accessibility issues. In Europe as a whole, the number of older people is increasing, posing challenges for the retail sector.

2 percent revenue loss by 2032

In the next decade, people over 65 in the Netherlands will account for almost a quarter of the population. Currently, this number is at 20 percent. Dutch sellers benefit little from this group. Quite the opposite: the aging population will cost shops 2 percent of revenue by 2032. This loss is compensated by a population growth of 9 percent, the researchers say.

One third of elders will buy less products.

The main reason is that nearly half of Dutch elders expect to have less money in ten years. This is even more so the case for people over 55 and 67. But even if they have the money, seniors say they would rather spend it on holidays and leisure activities. A third of elderly say they will buy less products.

Opportunities for online retail

Online shops have an advantage compared to physical retail: nine in ten people over 67 shops online. And 25 percent of them expects to order online more in the future, mainly in the categories electronics, sporting goods and specialty products.

25% of seniors expect to shop more online.

The majority of retail categories will see less purchases, though. Only optical stores, hearing aid stores and personal care sellers can expect more expenditure.

European comparison

The Dutch numbers are comparable to those of surrounding countries. In Western Europe as a whole, the population is aging while their disposable income becomes lower, McKinsey reports. Although, the last few years also saw double digits growth in European elders shopping online, research from DirectLink shows, such as in Belgium, Spain, Norway, Italy and Poland. Therefore online shops in particular can benefit from focusing more on the elderly.

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