Go to contents

Singles Becoming Power Spenders

Posted June. 11, 2007 02:47,   


These days, unmarried people in their thirties are the trendsetters of the market, replacing married couples in their forties and fifties. This new demographic is the new power consumer.

The “single economy,” which those in thirties are in the middle of, is getting a lot of attention these days. It was even the buzzword of this year’s World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland in January.

The monthly allowance of the unmarried in their thirties was 418 thousand won in 2006, according to Daehong Communications, which surveyed 6,000 men and women from teenagers to those in their fifties. This was 54.5 percent higher than the average monthly allowance of all those surveyed: 266 thousand won.

Singles in their thirties overspent all other age brackets regardless of their sex.

Single women in their thirties spent an average of 387.5 thousand won on cosmetics. This is 48 percent higher than 261.8 thousand won, which is what the average woman spent on cosmetics. This amount is much higher than 278.5 thousand won and 290 thousand won, which was spent by married women in their thirties and singles in their twenties, respectively.

The situation is the same with men. Single men in their thirties spent an average of 559.8 thousand won on clothing, while married men in their thirties spent the relatively small amount of 492.5 thousand won. The average amount spent by all men was 447.6 thousand won. These numbers explain why marketers target singles in their thirties.

“Both male and female singles place high value on developing themselves, even their looks. They invest in themselves and try to find their own style. This is why the better off they are, the more they spend on their looks,” said researcher Kwon Ku-hyun of Daehong Communications.

The spending power of singles in their thirties can be witnessed at the department store.

Customers in their thirties contributed to 33 percent of sales at Hyundai department stores last year. Singles took up 71.6 percent of the customers in the 30 to 34 age bracket. The 35 to 39 age bracket accounted for 41 percent.

“Singles are taking up more and more of our sales, especially singles in their thirties,” explained Lee Won-yong, an employee of the public relations team at Hyundai Department Store.

“Recently, we held an idea for a living appliance goods corner. Most of our customers were high-salaried single men,” said Kim Jae-bum, who is the sales manager of electronic appliance goods at Lotte Department Store. “Expensive artificial intelligence robot toys that go for up to 400 thousand won are selling very well.”

“Singles with their independent, plentiful budget are rising as power consumers and trendsetters,” said Lee Se-jin, professor of communications at Kookmin University.

fineday@donga.com nuk@donga.com