With annual spending power exceeding US$2tn and average household incomes over $45,000, today's Baby Boomers - and upper income "Zoomers" - are a powerful market of consumers who increasingly care about how they look and how they dress.
 
In order to explore opportunities and challenges for apparel and footwear companies seeking to serve older consumers and capitalise on this important market segment, a marketing conference, "Fifty is the New Thirty-Five," is taking place next week. 

"There is no doubt that America's boomers - and zoomers - are far different from their parents at the same stage of their lives," said Kevin M Burke, president and CEO of event sponsor the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA).

"Our industry has an opportunity to help them in the process - to look great, feel great, and to have the clothing and footwear they need for all of those activities."

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, will be the conference's keynote speaker. He will discuss what makes the 50+ consumer tick, and differences between lifestyle, life-stage, and age segmentation - and why they are important.

Other speakers will include Paul Robb, CEO, The Lifestyle Design Group, a division of Kellwood Company; and Kimberley Grayson, senior vice president marketing, Aerosoles.

"Fifty is the New Thirty-Five" is being held at the Union League Club in New York City on 24 January 2006. For more information, contact Susan Lapetina at slapetina@apparelandfootwear.org