A Party of One

Nov 12, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

For the first time in history, according to the November issue of American Demographics magazine, there are more single-person households in the US than there are families with
a husband, wife and child.

All told, there are 27.2 million single-person households in the country and the buying-power of this group has caught the attention of marketers.

Single-persons living alone spend more on rent, reading materials, alcohol, tobacco products and health care.

“What sets singles apart from the rest of the population is their different focus in terms of responsibilities,” Carey Earle, chief executive officer of Harvest Communications
told the magazine. “We even see this difference between single luxury-goods purchasers and other luxury-goods purchasers. Because even at the very high-end luxury spend, even
if a person is not at the highest earning level, they can afford more than someone at the same level who has kids. Their prioritization is different: being single allows them
to be a little selfish.”

Moderator’s Comment: Does it pay for retailers to single-out single consumers for special attention?

We heard of a local cooking school that expanded the number of singles classes it was running because they were always booked. Word has it, also, the local
Barnes & Noble Cafes do a pretty good singles business on Friday and Saturday nights.
Anderson – Moderator

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