by: Dick Stroud

There is an excellent article in the WSJ about the idiocy of why companies continue to ignore the spending potential of older women. If you have a WSJ subscription you read it here.

The focus of the article is about the way that the new online fashion sites continue to ape their off-line equivalents.

A new site has been launched called StyleCaster that appears to be a lot more than a simple online catalog by using video and social-networking techniques – “The Facebook of Fashion”. Other sites mentioned are ShopFlick and SmashingDarling.

I had a look at these three sites and it clear from the creative that they are aimed at my daughter or granddaughter, assuming I had such things.

The image of regular contributors, from Style Caster, says it all.

All of this would be OK if it were not for the facts. 45-54 year olds spend twice as much online as their daughters. Not surprisingly the average age of an online customer at, Saks Fifth Avenue's Web site is 42. "We wouldn't be getting that if we were limited to 18 to 34," says the president of Saks's online division, which the company considers its second-biggest store after its New York flagship.

The article’s author concludes with an amusing and insightful statement...... When it comes to online shopping, there may be a self-fulfilling prophecy at work: I can't find much appeal in sites that market only to twentysomethings. Thus, when I don't buy from those sites, they may continue to believe that the "hasn't-bought-a-house-yet" demographic is their best bet.

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