Among the various journalist requests for information and quotes which I receive on a regular basis has come one from Adam Bannister, who wanted a short quote to go with a survey of retail buyers. He wanted a response to the following statement and question: ‘Our survey revealed that one in four people considering buying a retailer (business) are over 55. Why do you think so many people are contemplating making an acquisition in such a challenging sector (given the economic situation) so late in life?’

Comment: My response to Adam was: ‘I’m amazed that you dare to make such an ageist assumption: that ‘over 55’ is ‘so late in life’. Not only are people living longer these days but, thanks to the financial crisis and the current challenging economic situation, people are having to work a lot longer than they might have expected to a few years ago.

So, (a) I believe that ‘over 55’ is not as late in life as you might think and (b) people are working longer because they have to. The retail sector is no different to other sectors (except, perhaps, professional sport) in attracting more mature workers.’

Adam’s response: Thanks Bob, much appreciated. You’re right, I’ve probably offended a few people there! I wrote the question in a rush. Of course 55 is not the time to retire!