I recently wrote about how gracefully my wife is aging, while I will be dragged kicking and screaming into my seventh decade.
But, according to the Wall Street Journal, retailers want to ease my pain. (See the video.) Boomers, “famously rebellious and demanding,” don’t want to be reminded that they are getting old. And so companies are making typefaces larger and lowering shelves, while marketing is filled with flattery and euphemism.
My favorite? They are avoiding yellow and blues in packaging, since older eyes don’t see them as sharply defined as other colors.
Consider these examples:
• Financial advisers offer cups with handles instead of Styrofoam and use lamps instead of harsher overhead lights.
• Kohlers calls their grab bars “Belay,” a rock climbing term. Apparently climbing out of the tub can be an adventure.
• Depends now “look and fit like underwear,” with younger models in their TV commercials and packaging that looks just like regular briefs. They spent two years developing this line, since they expect 45 million boomers to need incontinence products by 2020.
• CVS has been retrofitting stores with carpeting to reduce slippage, and lowering their top shelves from 72 to 60 inches. (What does CVS mean anyway? Corporations Vs. Seniors?)
• Walgreens is putting magnifying glasses in aisles with cleaners and other products that have fine print.
• Sherwin Williams, going after a market very likely to sell their homes and downsize, has introduced better lighting, more seating and free coffee, while reducing the fine print on their product displays.
• Kleenex has cooler, more contemporary designs for their boxes—fewer floral prints and more hip colors and patterns—even photographs. It’s not your grandma’s Kleenex box.
• Arm and Hammer has increased the print size on their cat-litter by 20%. Who knew cats were having trouble reading?
Not for me, though. I’m on to them.
I’m going to want the blue box on the top shelf, thank you very much.
The one with the Depends.