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Seniors Returning to Retail: Foot Traffic Trends

When it comes to consumer spending in the United States, Baby Boomers are in the lead. This group consistently spends more than any other generation across all categories, totaling over $548 billion a year. 

But when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, this population quickly became one of the most vulnerable. Because of this, senior activity levels and in-person shopping dropped more dramatically than other segments of the population. 

So, we’re checking in with this group to see how their consumer behavior has shifted recently, specifically as it relates to the retail and entertainment industries. To do this, we consulted the Buxton Consumer Impact Dashboard to measure foot traffic trends by category, and Mobilytics to study visitor trends in specific locations.

Let’s take a look at what the data found. 

Trips From Home

The first example we’re going to examine is seniors taking trips from home, which includes outings like shopping at retail centers or in downtown areas, as well as outdoor activities, like playing golf. Specifically, we analyzed consumer behavior in two retirement communities—On Top of the World in Ocala, Florida, and Regency at Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Buxton found that the percentage of seniors from these communities taking trips from their homes now is nearly identical to what it was pre-pandemic. This shows that one of the biggest and most influential groups is on the move and returning to retail locations again. Let’s take a look at another example of how this population is spending their time and money. 

Casino Visits 

It’s a well-known phenomenon that seniors love casinos. In fact, according to Gambling News Magazine, nearly half of all casino visitors in the United States are over 65. And now that most casinos have reopened, they are flocking back.

Over the summer in Nevada, the number of visits from consumers over the age of 65 increased by 55-60% compared to the same window in 2020. During the first two weeks of August, this number was actually closer to 80-85% higher than it was for the first two weeks of August 2020. 

In comparison, foot traffic dropped for other consumer segments in early August, showing this trend is specific to seniors.

The Bottom Line 

America’s seniors are returning to retail and entertainment venues… for now at least. So much of the world is in flux, and as mandates, health concerns, and more continue to change almost daily, it’s important to know how your target consumers’ behavior is evolving. Using mobile GPS data to track who visits your locations, understand their purchasing habits, and find other consumers like them is a smart and efficient way to support your business. 

Want to learn more about how mobile GPS data can help you keep tabs on your most important customer bases, like seniors? Check out Mobilytics
 

Journey Awareness Persona C-Suite/Finance Marketing Retail