Advantage Card scheme will be customised to attract older shoppers
Boots is poised to seize a more lucrative share of the£380 billion spend controlled by Britain's growing army of elderly people.

The retailer is about to reveal a raft of initiatives leveraging the appeal of its Advantage Card scheme to older consumers who face growing healthcare issues.

The UK's elderly population is an increasingly powerful consumer group. One in six people is aged 65 or over .

Market researcher Mintel says the per-capita expenditure for households headed by 50- to 59-year-olds is£213 per week, compared with£135 a week for an average UK household.

Boots chief executive Richard Baker believes the retailer is ideally suited to cater for the changing demographic. He said: 'We anchor healthcare first -

40 per cent of sales and 50 per cent of profits come from the pharmacy and over-the-counter medicines. If the Advantage Card is driving those businesses even faster we are driving even bigger value for shareholders.'

Boots will customise its loyalty scheme, to woo older shoppers. The target customer, codenamed Betty, is 50 or over and worried about her health.

Baker is confident the venture will appeal to older people because a similar bespoke scheme for young mums has already proved popular.

Baker said: 'We got 600,000 [new cardholders] through the Parenting Club. Pre- to post-natal mums are big-spenders. The club provides information, advice, magazines and deals negotiated with suppliers suitable for these consumers.'

Boots has almost 15 million Advantage Card holders and added 1.5 million last year.

Last week, Boots revealed fourth-quarter underlying

like-for-like sales growth of

1.5 per cent.