A new study finds that long thought to be the province of the young and tech savvy, e-commerce also is a growth market for seniors, who will enjoy or require the convenience of home delivery. Not all stores and product manufacturers are accommodating silvers’ changing needs.
The report from Fung Global Retail & Technology states the global population of those aged 65 and older will account for over one-third of population growth through 2035, according to the United Nations, and will comprise more than 20% of the population overall in Japan, South Korea, Western Europe, North America and China.
These households tend to be wealthier, and in the U.S., senior households spend well above the national average on household supplies and books, though less on apparel and footwear, which could be due to limited choice.
Seniors can find large-format stores and regional malls overwhelming, and product packaging may need to be redesigned in order to make it easier for seniors to read and open,
Look for more, but smaller, neighborhood stores, an increase in local delivery trucks and changing store layouts as retailers accommodate aging populations, says “The Silver Series IV: Retail Reconfiguration for Seniors.”
With smaller households and appetites, seniors shop more frequently, but make smaller purchases, favoring the convenience store sector, the report says. The trend is already being seen in Europe, where large-format retailers such as Tesco, Carrefour and REWE are opening smaller stores. While this has yet to take place in the U.S., ignoring this population segment is unwise, as silvers are growing in number and driving a disproportionate amount of consumer spending.
Supermarket chains in Germany and Austria have widened aisles, provided customized shopping carts and added nonskid flooring, while in the U.S., drugstores CVS and Walgreens are adapting store layouts to minimize high and low shelving, and have carpeted floors in some stores and even added magnifying lenses to shelves so shoppers can read labels with small print more easily.
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