Saturday, February 26, 2011

SEEING DOLLARS AND SENSE IN THE SILVER-HAIRED MARKET

One of the things I must do on my monthly trips to Singapore is catch a movie or two. Senior citizens get to see movies in their entirety, unlike in Malaysia where we have a scissors-happy censorship board. 'The Passion of Christ', 'Schindler's List' and 'Brokeback Mountain', for example, were banned from commercial screening. Too much gore and violence is also a no-no, the same with profanity and sexual scenes.

I recently saw 'Black Swan' and 'The King's Speech' in Singapore. I bet the lesbian scenes and all the profanities so central to both stories were removed in the Malaysian screenings.

Another joy of watching movies in Singapore is I get a seniors' discount. I pay only S$4 for a ticket. Right now Golden Village is offering free gifts and big prizes for senior movie goers. The company needs them to fill the seats for the day shows. The younger set prefers the evening shows when they get off work.

Museums, art galleries, and city attractions are jumping on the band wagon with attractive discounts for folks aged 60 and above. Tickets for Universal Studios Singapore, for example, start at $S32 for a one-day weekday pass, instead of the regular adult price of $S66. (Pic right: RapidKL 50% concession for senior citizens aged 60 and above.)

Dollars and sense at work here. And a win-win situation for all.
However, not everyone can see the money to be made in the seniors market. I recently inquired at an up-market restaurant whether grandmas get to eat for free. After all the place was named "Grandma's Restaurant". The head waiter looked at me with an air of disdain and shook his head. I suggested perhaps if grandma came along with the whole family, she might get to eat free? "Sorry, no," was the firm reply.

It was almost lunch-time, and the place looked quite deserted. Surely it made business sense to offer grandma a free meal if she brought along two or more full-paying adult diners? After all, most grandmas wouldn't want to eat alone. That's good marketing strategy.

What do senior citizens enjoy doing? They love to read, travel, shop, exercise, meet up with friends for a chat or a bite, be entertained, and more. MPH could offer seniors a discount on books, Starbucks on beverages, travel agencies on trips, IT companies on their products, supermarkets on groceries, and pharmacies on supplements.These are just a few examples.

One doesn't need to have an MBA to see all the golden business opportunities available to make money in the growing silver-haired market. All one needs is some common sense and the ability to put two and two together to make profits.
My discount card from Guardian Pharmacy. Too many terms and conditions, so not that popular with senior citizens.

Student discount cards have been around for a long time now. Similar cards for retirees and pensioners have yet to make an impact. Such cards would certainly go a long way towards stretching their limited savings.

3 comments:

Pak Idrus said...

Lily, the Coffee House at The Flamingo Hotel near our place give discount for Senior Citizen. Inform them that you are a Senior and the would give you the discount. I have been there a few time for breakfast and High-tea. Take care.

el-f said...

Thanks for the useful tip. There are several restaurants that also give seniors 50% discounts for lunch and hi-tea. Most of them are located at 3 or 4-star hotels.

Nomad4u said...

Same Same in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia,also the local paper often had ads for hotels offering 50% off their buffets for seniors.
Best is Malaysian Rail travel ,offers seniors 50% off trains basic fares,but not off the extras like sleeper berths etc.When you hit ther Thailand border,the discount stops unfortunatly if you are travelling throught to say Bangkok.