Women historically have been plunged into a lower standard of living after divorce, as a result of losing their husband’s income and benefits. Well this is still true, the picture is improving, driven in part that the facts that so many married women now earn paychecks and gainfully employed at the time of divorce. The result is that for some women, divorce is now a cause for celebration – complete with celebratory girlfriend parties. This is a new phenomenon that would have been inconceivable a few decades ago. When being divorced carried a heavy social and moral stigma.
Once the heartbreak (theoretically) over, women are often on a mission to completely reinvent themselves, from their appearance to their job to their lifestyle, all with the goal of making a fresh start. After comprising their own taste and desires in a relationship for so long it can be a joyful exercise for these women to go out and discover what their own taste is in clothes, furniture, food, cars, and décor. They want to travel, they want to experience things, and taste what they feel they’ve been missing.
One-third of all American babies are born to unmarried women and that’s a quarter of all households (27 percent) are run by single woman.
What are the insights for business?
- With each divorce comes the need for both people in the marriage to make them self whole again.
Messages that tap into women’s constant desire for reinventing are particularly powerful at this time of life.
Events like divorce showers (re-launch) parties are just starting to be promoted by hotels, department stores, and travel destinations. There are opportunities for all kinds of businesses from gyms, salons, spas, and those selling food products and apparel to promote “re-invention” programs to help fuel the confidence and positive energy that newly divorce are seeking.
- With each geographically move comes the inevitable need for new furniture, new gadgets, and newly stocked pantries.
Retailers should not only have wedding registries but also some form of divorce registries so that women can help friends and relatives select gifts they really need. Not only do people have to replace what they lost in the divorce, they usually want to add other new things as well, so that the re-alignment feels like a positive beginning.
From a broader standpoint divorced parents of school age children require duplicates of every kind of kid gear (making 2-4-1 promotions highly appealing), not to mention furnishings for the kids second bedroom in the other parents new household and all the toys, food, books, paint, art, mops, broom, hammers, and cleaning gear needed to stock the new place.