Local shops have come together with Age UK charities from across the country to discuss how local shopping can meet the needs of older customers.

At the joint ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) and Age UK Seminar James Lowman, ACS chief executive said: “Older customers account for a fifth of a convenience store’s customers and are the most regular customers. More than 70% use their local shop three or four times a week. Smart local shops know that meeting the needs of older customers is good for business.

“This does not mean that all retailers meet the needs of older customers well and there are challenges to overcome. In particular retailers have to think carefully about whether their stores are accessible, well lit and products are easy to find. They must also train staff to identify how best to serve older customers and provide the help they need.

Lowman also set out why Government should care about local shopping: “Being able to shop for food close to home is vital to making it possible for older people to live independently for longer. We are clear that decision makers, whether they are Ministers or Local Councillors, should understand that helping local shops to build successful businesses in the heart of communities leads to wide ranging social benefits. This must be a determining factor in a range of policy decisions such as planning policy or setting business rates.”