Retailers missing out on baby boomers' bucks

Retailers are ignoring the fastest-growing crowd in the United States -- people age 45 and older.

It is a costly mistake, two analysts told a packed audience at a retail leaders' conference Monday in Chicago.

People older than 50 spend $1.7 trillion annually on goods and services. That's more than 30 percent of the United States' total household spending, said Deloitte executives Patrick J. Conroy and Bruce Westbrook. "We're the forgotten pile of folks, except that we have the biggest checkbooks," said Conroy, Deloitte's national managing partner of consumer business industries.