Lifestage Retail in Europe

Illustrations by Timmy Kucynda for Metropolis

Illustrations by Timmy Kucynda for Metropolis

kaiser2 reported on a new concept grocery store.  “The design elements of the Kaiser’s supermarket in East Berlin reveal a series of subtle details that make it clear this store is geared toward an older clientele. “Germany is the oldest country in Europe,” says Tobias Tuchlenski, manager of the Berlin region for the German supermarket conglomerate Kaiser’s Tengelmann AG.
•    Shopping carts equipped with magnifying glasses, seats and locking wheels for short rest breaks.
•    The market’s peripheral aisle is open and broad.
•    Smaller baskets have long handles and wheels.
•    Long metal steps running along the lower edge of the dairy and frozen-food cases make it easy to reach items on the top shelves.
•    Short aisles ends with a small eye-level station holding another magnifying glass and a button with which customers can summon help.
•    Shelf signs highlight products “For the Small Household,” for products suitable for single people or couples without children.

Berlin’s first senior supermarket, it is following in the footsteps of the Austrian company Adeg, which opened an Aktiv Markt +50 in Salzburg in 2003.
Indeed, shoppers of all ages can appreciate the store’s anti-slip synthetic flooring, brighter and more directed lighting, cheery pastel-yellow walls, and a checkout area that allows plenty of room for maneuvering. One particularly senior-friendly element is the foyer near the exit, which is equipped with black couches, a TV/computer screen, a watercooler, and a coin-operated massage chair. Customers can even have a taxi called for free from the adjacent bakery stand. “For a lot of older people, going to the supermarket has a social aspect. We wanted to create a ‘senior corner’ so people can meet over coffee and cake,” Tuchlenski explains.
Kaiser’s is pleased with the changes—sales are 25 percent above forecasted figures—and longtime customers are happy as well.”

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