Chicos targets boomers

Chicos targets - advertisement EMailThisArticle SubscribetoThePost QuickQuotes LookUpTables|Portfolio|Index Stretching to Fit As the Boomers Bulge

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Quick Quotes   Look Up Tables  |  Portfolio  |  Index   Stretching to Fit As the Boomers Bulge, Their Fashion Choices Shrink By Dina ElBoghdady Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, June 16, 2002; Page H01 Betsy Otto is happy enough with her new black "travelers" pants from the Chico's store in Bethesda. But she's not exactly proud of them. The pants are serviceable. She can bunch them up in a ball, throw them in a suitcase, and still they don't wrinkle. But they do stretch. At the waist. "Yes, unfortunately, elastic waistbands are appealing to me more and more," the reasonably trim 42-year-old admits. "It has to do with the fact that I've added a few pounds and that my body shape has changed. I'm not delighted about it." Chico's FAS Inc. is. advertisement Latest news and updates E-Mail This Article Printer-Friendly Version   Subscribe to The Post  
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The Fort Myers, Fla.-based retailer has built a thriving business around those changing shapes, making it one of a smattering of specialty retail chains catering to an underserved but lucrative group of apparel shoppers: aging baby-boomer women. If "underserved baby boomer" sounds oxymoronic, it is. The nearly 80 million children of the post-World War II era, those born between 1946 and 1964, have been courted by marketers every minute of their lives. Sport-utility vehicles. Self-help books. Hair coloring. Fast-food chains. Botox. VCRs. Viagra. "We changed every market we entered, from the disposable-diaper market to the stock market to the job market," said Lynne Lancaster, a generational expert and co-author of "When Generations Collide." "We like to be marketed to." But there's a generational shift that apparel retailers have either missed or ignored, Lancaster said. "Part of the fashion industry is so scared of being seen as dowdy and old," she said. That attitude could be costing the industry big bucks, especially among the 50-something consumers, who wield tremendous purchasing power and promise to wield even more until they retire. Consider this: A boomer turns 50 every seven seconds in this country, census data show. Those already in their fifties hold 77 percent of all personal assets and represent 66 percent of all U.S. stockholders even though they make up only 27 percent of the population, according to Age Wave Impact, a marketing agency in Emeryville, Calif. And though baby boomers are aging, 7 out of 10 purport to be in perfectly good health, suggesting that most of their spending is tied to their wants and not necessarily their needs (at least for empty-nesters), market research firm RoperASW in New York reports. For boomer women, wants include about $29 billion in casual clothing. That's how much they spent on sportswear last year alone, said Marshal Cohen, co-president of NPDFashionworld, a market information firm in Port Washington, N.Y. Their spending puts them neck-and-neck with the younger Gen Xers chased by so many
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This note was uploaded on 01/22/2011 for the course MSOM 303 taught by Professor Philpot during the Winter '10 term at George Mason.

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Chicos targets - advertisement EMailThisArticle SubscribetoThePost QuickQuotes LookUpTables|Portfolio|Index Stretching to Fit As the Boomers Bulge

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