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Author: Age UK
Published on 02 February 2017 12:01 AM

In a wake-up call to businesses, Age UK has urged for a more age-friendly approach as over 65s believe they are overlooked as consumers.

  • Almost half of those over 65 believe that retailers have little interest in the needs of older people
  • Over 65s say their priorities when shopping are parking, manned checkouts and staff politeness
  •  In response to this, Age UK has published a report with its eight top tips for creating an age-friendly business environment.

Older households spend an estimated total of £145 billion per year on goods and services, but four in ten of those over 65 believe businesses have little interest in their consumer needs.

The needs of older consumers

The report, ‘Age-friendly business: valuing and including older customers,’ provides an interesting insight into the priorities of shoppers over 65.

Download the report (494 KB)

Focus groups showed that seats in stores, accessible toilets and staff politeness are key to a decent shopping experience. A quarter of all those over 65 ranked parking as their number one priority. An adequate number of manned checkouts was another concern.

How to be more age-friendly

The report argues that the exclusion of older customers creates resentment and frustration, as well as wasted opportunities for businesses.

Age UK's top tips for creating an age-friendly business

Toilets and seats - provide these essential facilities to give people the confidence to come into your store and linger for longer.

Online - ensure websites are well-designed and user-friendly for everyone.

Paying - support people with dementia-friendly, manned checkouts.

Telephone - ensure call handlers speak clearly, with patience and respect.

Don't Ignore - do not ignore older shoppers or make assumptions about what they need.

Point out - design a safe and easy to navigate environment and help older people find what they need as required.

Service - provide excellent customer service, including polite, helpful and patient staff.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK:

“We have a growing population of discerning older consumers who know what they want, and retailers and other businesses who understand that and respond well can look forward to a really successful future."

Work with us

Age UK is working with a range of businesses to help them improve the way their services and systems work for older people.

Email to discuss ways we could help your business be more age-friendly.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081