September 07, 2014
Ronald Friedman, Co-Leader, Retail/Consumer Products Industry Group, Quoted in Fortune Article, "Midwestern Grandmas are Your Prime Back-to-School Bargain Shoppers"
By John Kell
Retailers like Macy's, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch predictably trumpet their Labor Day discounts. But who exactly listens?
Surprisingly, it's not always suburban parents or struggling students preparing for back-to-school. Turns out the most responsive shopper is Midwestern women over the age of 65 – or, in short, the Midwestern grandma.
The finding comes from a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, which asked respondents how many of the back-to-school purchases they made were influenced by coupons or sales. More than one-fifth of women said all their purchases were tied to discounts while only 8.7% of men gave a similar answer.
"I can understand why grandparents are stepping up to the plate and helping their kids more," said Ron Friedman, a consumer products consultant for accounting and advisory firm Marcum LLP. "It is probably a function of the economy and the recession, grandparents’ kids need the help."