There’s a fantastic white paper that was written about the 2010 census and the shifting demographics of the U.S. consumer. You can read a high level synopsis about it in Advertising Age.
It’s heady stuff to be sure, but relevant to anyone who sells things to consumers, whether in retail, restaurants, or services.
The biggest takeaways:
- U.S. Households are growing ever more complex and varied. The biggest shift is that most household will be comprised of married couples without kids and singles.
- Minorities are the new majority. Most major cities will not have a single group that can claim a majority of the population. Instead, a true melting pot of a number of groups will collectively make up the ethnic demographics of many major cities.
- The nation is moving. Northeasterners and Midwesterners are abandoning those parts of the country in favor of the South and West.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Run your business for tomorrow as well as today.
Too often, entrepreneurial retailers run their businesses in the past, and may not even be up to what’s going on in today’s world. Even fewer retailers look forward, and plan for the ebb and flow of the economy, changing real estate landscapes, demographic shifts, etc.
The only way to get ahead in business is to stay current, and anticipate what changes might occur in the future. Great companies lead their customers, versus reacting to what their customer needs are. Better to fall forward on your face versus fall backward on your butt.
While working for a beauty retailer several years ago, we were going to create a section of our stores that focused on organic products. This was 6 years ago, just as the organic movement was taking hold. The CEO at the time killed the initiative. That’s not smart, forward thinking. The concept would position us as a beauty thought leader in a world of beauty sameness, causing customers to come to us simply because we were ahead of the pack. Now, of course organic and environmentally friendly beauty products are everywhere.
How are you going to be a thought leader, and proactively plan for the shifting demographics of households today and in the future?
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