Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Retailers are incorporating more elder-friendly features in their shops and supermarkets to win over older customers.

As age advances on us, shopping becomes increasingly a dreaded chore. Retailers here have little clue as to what constitutes happy shopping for those aged 60 and above. Based on my own experience and my observations, I have come up with a list of older shoppers' grouses.

  • items on shelves too high for our arms to reach
  • items on shelves too low for our knees to bend
  • labels with fine print that is too small for us to read
  • aisles that are too narrow for our wheelchairs or walking frames
  • relatively few products catering to our needs
  • lack of benches to rest our weary feet (so true in bookstores!)
  • poor lighting at some sections of supermarkets and at some family restaurants
  • wet and slippery floors especially in the restrooms of shopping malls
  • loud jarring pop music - noise is more like it
  • sales assistants who have no idea what we are looking for. Try asking the young sales staff if they have CDs by The Rolling Stones or The Three Tenors. They will give you blank looks.

Do watch this video below. This supermarket in Germany certainly knows how to make their older customers happy to shop there. Our grocery chains here can learn a thing or two from this video.

The number of older shoppers is set to soar in the coming years. It makes good business sense for retailers to make shopping a pleasant experience for older people. Furthermore, any feature or design that is elder-friendly benefits other age groups as well. I might add that the sales staff should comprise workers of all ages, and not only those in the 20s as is the case in most retail shops and supermarkets here in Malaysia and Singapore.

From Elders in Action

Wouldn't it be great one day to see similar signs like this one above in our shops here in Malaysia and Singapore?

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