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Amazon creates specialty store for 50+ customers

The online retail giant is tapping more directly into the shopping needs of the estimated 80 million Americans aged 50 or older in the U.S.

Amazon's new senior store opens for business.

Amazon leaves practically no demographic or product category untouched for it shoppers. The company just launched a "50+ Active and Healthy Living Store" with hundreds of thousands of items that end up on the shopping lists of seniors.

Amazon is tapping more directly into the large addressable market for seniors. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 40 million Americans were 65 or older in 2010, and more than 80 million were 50 and older. By 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45 percent of the U.S. population, according to the AARP. Those seniors buy a lot of vitamins, medical aids, and incontinence care products. The vast majority of them are online, and a good percentage likely already have an Amazon account.

Part of Amazon's strategy is to address specific customer needs with opportunistic specialty stories. Even within its main Health & Personal Care shopping category, Amazon has specialty stores for allergy relief and spring cleaning, and now the 50+ Active and Healthy Living.

In addition, Amazon has acquired standalone online specialty stores such as (shoes and apparel), (baby products), (kids' clothing), (toys), and (household good, beauty products, school supplies, hair care). They carry many of the same products and do some fulfillment for the parent company. At the same time, they address more clearly and richly specific product categories that are just one of many in the vast Amazon shopping mall.