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KB courts booming grandparent demo

AS an estimated 78.2 million baby boomers in the U.S. enter their twilight years, the generation that's driven much of the consumer economy for decades is showing no signs of relinquishing its hold, which is good news for the kids biz. Boomer grandparents are happily spending cash on their latest progeny and U.S.-based KB Toys is looking to score with the demo. The toy retailer rolled out a new Grandparents' Reward Club this fall to further entice sales from the boomer clientele which now account for 40% of the company's revenue.
December 1, 2006

AS an estimated 78.2 million baby boomers in the U.S. enter their twilight years, the generation that’s driven much of the consumer economy for decades is showing no signs of relinquishing its hold, which is good news for the kids biz. Boomer grandparents are happily spending cash on their latest progeny and U.S.-based KB Toys is looking to score with the demo. The toy retailer rolled out a new Grandparents’ Reward Club this fall to further entice sales from the boomer clientele which now account for 40% of the company’s revenue.

‘We recognized that this is a large market and grandparents love to spoil their children, so we’re making it a little bit easier for them to do that,’ says Geoffrey Webb, director of advertising and sales promotions at KB Toys.

The new rewards club offers 10% off toy purchases on Tuesdays at all 600 KB stores in 44 states and provides customers with a plastic club card and keychain. Club members who choose to divulge their e-mail addresses are sent additional e-coupons and invitations to special events.

Unlike the previous plan for seniors, the new program recognizes younger grandparents. In fact, to qualify for the club, customers need only ask for an application – no proof of grandparenthood is required. The card also allows KB to keep track of the types of SKUs this demo purchases.

The program seems to be working. Webb says that after an eight-week test in the Boston, Massachusetts area, sales were four to five times higher with this demo than they were pre-rewards club. Holding the 10% discount day on Tuesday boosts sales on what is traditionally one of the slowest days of the week and it also allows the sales people to spend more time with the grandparents who aren’t necessarily up on what toys to buy their grandchildren. KC

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