Department stores must adapt to older shoppers

Report concludes that department stores need to enhance the shopping experience to fight the onslaught of online retailers.

I would add that in Australia, where the 50+ segment will be around 37% of total population by 2018, they must also consider the needs of older shoppers in the process. Morningstar investment research concludes in their report that stores may need to spend even more on embellishing the shopping experience to remain relevant.

Now I don’t have stats to prove the point but one would think that an older shopper is more likely to crave the department store experience they’ve grown up with as compared with younger consumers born into a world of online shopping. Therefore, the retail experience must consider the needs of older shoppers paramount. Age-friendly shopping needs to understand the physiological needs of the ageing customer. Such as more direct lighting for weaker eyesight and moderate background noise so that older ears can converse with sales assistants.

While food, liquor and low-cost clothing retailers have “little to fear” from online operations, department store retailers such as Myer and David Jones need to invest in ambience to lure foot traffic.

Department stores must deliver a form of theatre according to the Morningstar report. They needed to make better use of lavish displays, glamorous celebrities and live music, or the gentle elegance of soft music and carpets that soothe and cocoon the shopper.

In Australia, online shopping accounts for up to 8 per cent of retail spending and is expected to continue to grow by 10 to 15 per cent per year over the next three years.

See also:

Transforming the store for an ageing shopper

Kaiser’s Senior Friendly Store