The Seniors’ Market

Dec 29, 2003

By George Anderson

Adeg Aktiv Markt is not your average supermarket. It is Europe’s first market
designed specifically for consumers 50 years of age and older.

The store boasts big print signage, magnifying glasses hanging from chains
for those having trouble reading labels, wider aisles, seats throughout, and
non-skid floors.

According to a New York Times report, the market, which opened in May
outside of Salzburg, Austria, “is the first attempt by Adeg, a subsidiary of
the German food company Edeka, to address Europe’s most pressing demographic
trend: an aging population. The median age in Europe is 37.7, but it is expected
to rise to 52.3 by 2050 because of a plummeting birth rate and a longer life
expectancy. A quarter of Austrians and a third of Germans are expected to be
60 or older by 2015. In the United States, the population is aging, as well,
though not as rapidly as it is in Europe, and the median age of 35 is expected
to remain steady over the next 50 years.”

Moderator’s Comment: What changes do you expect to
see in stores as the population ages?

Kurt Erlacher, project manager with Adeg, told the New
York Times
, “We do not want this to be a supermarket where people say that
it’s a senior center. We want young shoppers in addition to older shoppers,
but we want to be able to serve the elderly.”

Based on the Times’ report, Adeg is finding consumers
of all ages are responding positively to the store’s product selection and layout
enhancements, such as wider aisles.
Anderson – Moderator

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