Age-friendly high streets
Setting the retail agenda
Why bother adapting high streets?
• High streets have been in decline for years. In 1950, supermarkets had 20% of
the grocery market, by 1990 they had 80%
• In 1998 a comprehensive DETRA report found that out of town supermarkets
drove market town and town centre businesses down by up to 75%
• Covid has made us re-consider the state of our high streets
• Evolution of the shopping experience from circa 1965 to 2022
Why should retailers adapt the high street?
• Instilling behavioural change – whether this changing the
retail buyer's category choices, giving consumers access to
healthier options or improved accessibility and inclusivity into
stores and navigating around them - these all encourage healthier
ageing across the lifecourse
• One solution to assist the employment crisis – the retail,
hospitality and night-time sector need more employees. Inclusion
and legislation in HR handbooks and more flexible employment
policies would attract older workers, to look after grandchildren
for example. An opportunity to re-skill and harness experience
and wisdom, currently deserting the workforce
• Increasing the economy with a growing older population - ratio
of people aged over 65 to people aged 15 to 64 is set to at least
double by 2060 and triple for people over 80 in most
G20 countries. By 2040, older people will spend 63p in every £1.
Tackling barriers to older people’s spending could add 2% (£47
billion) each year to UK GDP
Inspiring behavioural change with
• Pilot low cost – high impact ideas
• Examine retail environment,
• ask who is welcome here?
• Can we choose and place products
differently or better?
• Can we drive repeat footfall with
more specialist and inclusive
Examples of how to adapt
Amending font size and design of
Improving accessibility into and
collaborating together on
Improving transport system to
and from shops
More seats and toilets
change and societal
Free cooking classes (sponsored
by food retailer) for low
earners, parents and carers,
single older people
Fighting ageism in
Neighbourhood drop-in haven
on high street
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