The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 29, 2001 · Page 35
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 35

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 29, 2001
Page 35
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THE SALINA JOURNAL MOIMEY SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2001 E3 BABY BOOMERS Mistaken identity There's a misconception that all baby boomers are white, affluent By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG 77ie Associated Press NEW YORK — What's a baby boomer? For most people, the phraSe conjures up an image of a white, well-educated, well-off person who lives in a spacious house and has expensive cars and toys. That picture does not necessarily reflect the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964. While the majority are white, millions of others are black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian or part of other ethnic groups. Many are not affluent — in fact, some are poor or struggling financially If they do own a home or car, it isn't likely to be the kind most people would envy But say the words "baby boomer," and the stereotype of a white person with a lot of money is likely to come to mind. When the reporter writing this story called Marilyn Kern-Foxworth for an interview, the former marketing professor, herself a black boomer, said she had a mental flash of baby boomers as white and affluent. "I got caught in the same trap and I study this every day," said Kern- Fox worth. Silver Spring, Md., who heads the Celebrating Life Foundation. Boomer 'trap' People who study marketing and the media say the "trap" Kern-Foxworth describes is the result of years of attention being focused on the upper economic strata of boomers. "The people held up as the exemplars of the baby boomers are white," said Beth Barnes, chairwoman of the advertising department at Syracuse University "It's probably a reflection of the general situation that most people who get talked about for having various accomplishments and a type of lifestyle that they're able to live — they're all white." Another reason for this phenomenon is products and services historically have marketed mostly to The Associated Press Marilyn Kern-Foxworth, a poetry writer and hiead of Celebrating Life Foundation, says many biacl< boomers need to be planning for retirement. whites. Kern-Foxworth, noting many black Boomers need to be planning for retirement and setting up estates, said, "We're not being targeted for these kinds of things." "They're primarily just doing things as usual," said Alfred Schreiber, a marketing and recruitment executive of advertisers and marketers. Although blacks appear in TV commercials and print ads, they are "a great untapped population segment, many of whom are boomers, and yet they're invisible to the major marketer," he said. Schreiber, who wrote the book "Multicultural Marketing: Selling to the New America," found this ironic because ethnic groups are the fastest-growing part of the population. That means in the aggregate, blacks, Hispanics and other groups outspend whites. Marketers target sub-groups Of course, some marketers do better than others. Kenneth Bernhardt, a professor of marketing at Georgia State University said "good marketers break baby boomers into a number of subgroups and tailor their products and their programs to meet the needs of the sub-groups they target." He cited retailer Home Depot, soft drink makers and automakers Toyota and Honda as being more successful in reaching a broader section of boomers. But less-savvy marketing leaves some boomers feeling excluded. For Willie Smith, a 47-year-old black psychoanaljrst in New York, a typical baby boomer is a "quite self- involved" white person talking on a cell phone while walking down a street in Manhattan. "I've never thought of myself as a baby boomer," he said. To marketers, it might seem more profitable to focus on people with a lot of disposable income. "If you just pay attention to financial survival, and of course that's what you have to do, you do better catering to the trivial needs of wealthy people than attending to the fundamental needs of poor people," said Carol Pauli, chairwoman of the communications department at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. But, as Kern-Foxworth noted, there's plenty of money to be made from all boomers, even if they're poor. "They have to have basic consumer goods. They use utilities like any other group. In the aggregate, you come up with a lot of money" she said. Older workers remain in demand AARP study concludes 80 percent of boomers will work in retirement By EILEEN ALT POWELL The Associated Press NEW YORK — Ernest Watts h&d been retired for a couple of years when his wife suggested he was underfoot and maybe should find a job. "My first reaction was, who's going to hire a 64-year-old man?" Watts said. The answer was just a mile away from his Philadelphia home, at a CVS drugstore. Like many other companies, CVS Corp. is courting older workers to work full time or part time — and are positioning themselves to attract baby boomers who plan to work in retirement. A decade ago, employees 50 and older made up about 7 percent of the CVS work force; now they make up 14 percent. "Older workers are very responsible. They care about the customers. They're good examples to our younger employees," said Stephen Wing, a director for the Woonsocket, R.I.-based drugstore chain. A growing number of companies are looking for ways to retain or attract older workers. The Associated Press Ernest Watts, 71, has been stocking soda and shelves at CVS Pharmacy in Havertown, Pa., the past five years. "We have almost 60 million Americans who are 55 and older today," said William Zinke, president of Human Resource Services, a consulting firm in Boulder, Colo. "They are followed by the 76 million baby boomers who begin to reach 55 this year." Those boomers are healthier than their ancestors, living longer and, it seems, have an intense desire to continue working, A 1998 study by AARP, advocacy group for older Americans, concluded baby boomers are redefining what it means to retire. "Unlike their parents' generation, fully 80 percent of boomers believe that they will continue to work during retirement, and only 16 percent expect not to work for pay at all during their retirement years," the study found. Zinke sees benefits all around for working after retirement. For the senior, it's a chance to stay connected, feel productive and earn money if necessary For the corporate world, it means avoiding labor shortages when boomers hit retirement age. Ernest Watts, who is 71, has worked at CVS for more than five years. He now works about 20 hours a week stocking soft drinks. "The money that I make at CVS pays our real estate taxes, and that helps a great deal," he said. It also keeps him active. "I don't feel I'm as old as I am because I can still run, I can do anything that the kids do," Watts said. "They look and they say 'Look at that gray- haired man. He's doing what we do.' " Donald Davis, vice president for work force development at the National Council on the Aging, said boomers not only will be physically able to work into their 70s and possibly 80s but also may have to. "From what we're hearing anecdotally many will be forced to continue working because they have not saved," Davis said. Century/ Company rebounds FROM PAGE E1 When head-to-head competition with much larger discount retailers took its toll in the 1980s, many of the company's stores had to be closed. In 1991, the company had only 19 Duckwall stores and about 80 Alco stores, down from a total of 150 stores six years earlier. That prompted the company to adopt its current strategy: opening stores in smaller markets that have no direct competition from another full-line discount retailer. Today, with the lineup back above 260 stores, Duckwall-Alco is remodeling 32 of its Alco stores, focusing on a smaller retailing model. The new concept is to target stores in the 18,000- square-foot range in smaller rural towns. Total company employment stands at 5,200 people, including a corporate staff of 270. For its last fiscal year, which ended Jan. 28, Duckwall-Alco reported net earnings of $4.5 million on total sales of $390.6 million. Although change has become a constant, one thing that won't change is the comfortable, small-town feel of a Duckwall or Alco store. Shank said. The company will always stress friendly, personal service to its customers, he said. "It's ironic: We have come back to the smaller markets that are not too close to the trade centers," he said. "We have gone into really rural markets, where we started from. That has always been where our roots were." Savings / Funds can be pooled FROM PAGE E1 The program is set up so parents — along with grandparents, uncles and aunts, other relatives and friends — can pool their rebates for any child's education fund. Money deposited by the participating companies in a Upromise account gets swept into a Section 529 college savings plan. Upromise initially is offering plans underwritten by Fidelity and Salomon Smith Barney, but says it will broaden the selection in the future. Investments, in 529 plans, which are named for a section of the Internal Revenue Service tax code, grow tax-deferred until withdrawn to pay education expenses. Upromise estimates a family' can accumulate as much as $20,000 for a child's education over 15 years. r. |. StefanyLKaniper Registered Representative 785-825-8419 offering: Mutual Funds, Variable Life Insurance, Annuities, IRA's Si 401(K)'s FARMERS Securities offered tliroiigli Farmers Financial Solalion, LLC Member NASD Registered Branch located at; 2044 Tuttle Creek Blvd./Manhattan, KS 66502 T ENTERTAINMENT Discounts cut theme parks' cost More visitors are taking advantage of discount coupons By The Associated Press ORLANDO, Fla, — Using coupons she got from an airline and a hotel, Judith Morales saved $18 on theme park entrances during a four-day visit to Orlando with her daughter and husband. "Discount is better," the tourist from Yonkers, N.Y., said outside a T-shirt shop. The average admission price for an amusement park in 2001 is an all-time high $40.23, an increase of $3.20 over last year, according to an annual survey by the trade publication Amusement Business. But with higher prices, park officials say they have greater flexibility to offer discounts. More visitors are taking advantage. "The prices are rising, but in reality those prices are moot because there are so many discounts available," said Tim O'Brien, senior editor at Nashville-based Amusement Business. With season passes, AAA discounts and afterhours prices, anywhere from 85 to 90 percent of amusement and theme park visitors get discounts at parks nationwide, O'Brien estimates. Walt Disney World, for instance, currently offers Florida residents four days admission to all four of its theme parks for $99 plus tax. One-day admission to a single park usually costs $50.88 with tax. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, both owned by Anheuser Busch, are in the second year of a major discounting program. Florida residents who paid a full entrance fee during the first three months of the year can have unlimited return visits to the park except for a few blackout days. The discount program also is available at Sea- World San Diego. Other parks are catching on. Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, Calif., is introducing a similar discount program, the WOW Card, which accounts for its admission price increase this year of $6 to $43. Parks such as Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, tend to discount more heavily during the spring and fall when attendance is lighter. The park's largest discounting program this year offers $10 to $13 off the $39 admission fee to visitors who bring a Pepsi can with a Cedar Point promotion on it. Most parks will tell visitors who call their guest relations office where they can find discounts because they want to create traffic between their promotional partners and the park. "The coupons are out there if you're aggressive about it," O'Brien said. 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