Mothers have long been a primary focus of retailers in the U.S. Rightfully so, as research shows they represent a significant slice of the population and do quite a bit of the shopping for themselves and their families. But did you know nearly 40 percent of women ages 22 to 44 in the U.S. are childless?
It’s a fact. The percentage is higher than ever before.
Until recently, this growing segment of the population was largely overlooked and falsely stereotyped. But Google the topic or dig around on Twitter and it becomes obvious women are setting the record straight. By and large, this demographic – women who are childless by choice or chance – is educated, successful and happy. Since Melanie Notkin put pen to paper for the release of her wildly successful book Otherhood earlier this year, the hashtag #otherhood has become a force to be reckoned with on social media.
According to an excerpt from Notkin’s publisher, “The rising percentage of childless women is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated social issues of our time. Never before have more women lived longer before having their first child or remained childless toward the end of their fertility. Nearly half of North American women of childbearing age are childless, a dramatic rise from 35 percent in 1976. Yet childless women are still perceived as the exception, not the norm.”
It is, indeed, becoming the norm. And, retailers, there are a few key facts that should have your undivided attention moving forward. According to a recent study, titled Shades of Otherhood, they spend 35 percent more per person on groceries than moms, and even more on beauty products. They also take longer vacations and travel abroad more often.
“These women represent a significant demographic and have buying power, yet it’s clear marketers aren’t taking full advantage of this opportunity,” said Sarah Clark, president, Mitchell Communications Group. “There’s an opportunity to change that – to serve unmet needs.”
The otherhood is alive … and growing.