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Senior Supermarkets

Senior Supermarkets

Why hasn’t anyone created supermarkets designed for senior citizens?

Think about it. Most supermarkets are for everyone, but seniors have unique needs. They are less mobile, usually prefer to buy in smaller quantities and may have difficulty seeing and hearing. Another Harris Teeter or Acme gets built, and they want to reach everybody. Where is the grocery store just for seniors? 

But a small, focused chain built by seniors for seniors could be a successful entry into the segment. It would stand for something and become a community for a particular group of individuals. They wouldn’t cater to a wide swath of people, but those who have distinctive needs.

Senior Supermarkets

This idea came to me this after visiting my mom who turned 89. She has been shopping at Kings in New Jersey forever and ever. They don’t carry small sizes that could fit how she eats. They deliver but charge for it, even for someone who has been a loyal customer for more than forty years. The aisles are narrow and hard to navigate for someone walking so slowly.

Consider how helpful it would be to gather six different senior shoppers for coffee, once a week to provide ideas and insights how to serve their needs. The store would serve as a community that could help make customer’s advocates. Maybe the store would have a recreational room for card players or people who want to learn how to use Facebook. The products they carry could be portioned to meet the challenges of an aging population.

Follow the trends

  • The population is getting older and living longer, so this is a growing market.
  • More people are in single-family households, so supermarkets for senior singles fits too.
  • Giant supercenters are too big to navigate for older people like my Mom. Smaller feels more like the past.
  • Instituting shopping services for community members who could get personalized shoppers to help them.
  • Check out could be reimagined so that it isn’t the older shopper’s obligation to stand for so long.
  • This senior supermarketing could make the design fit the users more effectively than a one-hundred-year-old model of how supermarkets work
  • You could have nostalgic imagery and music filling the space to make it feel like time-travel making shopping a more pleasant experience

I know the arguments that grocery chains use — we need big volume because our margins are so small. So, some smart entrepreneur will figure this out and build a focused chain, serving a narrowly targeted audience and design the products and services for that special community.

Marketing. It isn’t about advertising. It is a way of seeing every business as an opportunity to be different.




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Photo credit: Flkr Free Creative Commons




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