Catering to seniors a good bet for business

Updated: 2014-05-02 11:03

By Zheng Jinran (China Daily)

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"We provide the good news and hold regular interactions with them; thus the continuing success of the newspaper is assured," he said.

Tu Xin, 78, one of Happy Maturity's loyal readers, said he anticipates the coming of Mondays and Thursdays, when each new issue arrives.

"Some old news and stories can be found, which triggers my memories for the old time," said Tu, who lives in Changsha, adding that his own love story was published, and that issue is a special treasure for him and his wife.

Wu Yongjun, a 37-year-old reporter in Jiangxi province, also reads the paper and said its health-oriented content fits the needs of seniors. Its considerate editing is also well-received, Wu said.

Public applause for the newspaper has been welcome, not only for what it provides in the way of food for thought but also for its tailored services.

The newspaper's expansion plans include the launch of a website and magazine, an online shop to provide selected products and a travel agency catering exclusively to seniors.

Many products aimed at seniors have been successful, Tu said, citing a nail clipper with a magnifying glass as an example.

"It's small and cheap, but for the seniors who usually have poor eyesight it's quite necessary," Tu said, adding that it has been a hot item at the online shop.

Sales at the online shop, which was launched in April 2013, have exceed 2 million yuan, said Yi Hua, who oversees its management.

Happy Maturity plans to expand its current industrial cluster containing the newspaper and other services to a listed company with revenue of 1 billion yuan within five years.

The plan may be achievable in light of China's aging demographics.

By the end of 2012, the older population - aged 60 and over - reached 194 million, accounting for 14.3 percent of the 1.34 billion total in China. The group will continue to grow, exceeding 200 million - or 14.8 percent of the population - in 2013, according to projections released by the China National Committee on Aging, the official authority in charge of aging issues in China.

Market demand from senior residents reached 1 trillion yuan in 2010, a figure that will grow to 5 trillion yuan in 2050. However, the products and services provided to seniors account for less than 100 billion yuan currently, far from enough to satisfying the coming demand, the committee said.