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“The future is getting older so be prepared”: -
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In what atmosphere do people feel welcomed and comfortable? What are their needs, preferences, expectations and how do these affect their shopping behaviour? The proportion of older persons in the population is constantly growing so in the new future there will be more and more older shoppers in the stores. This study has from a management perspective tried to find a suitable store design and atmosphere that would be appreciated by the older shoppers segment.

The research question of the study was: What store atmosphere and store design lead the growing target group - the elderly towards a sales increasing shopping behaviour? In attempt of answering the research question the main purpose was to understand the needs and preferences of older consumers and their shopping behaviour related to the issues of food shopping in a supermarket and to be able to discover underlying mechanisms in order to suggest a store atmosphere and store design adapted to the older consumers; and thus an increasing sales strategy for the store.

In order to form a theoretical frame various secondary sources have been used that were found to be suitable for the research area. The retail anthropologist Paco Underhill has been a great inspiration for many theories in the study. Two qualitative methods have been used: structural observations and semi-structural interviews. The qualitative method is well chosen and makes it possible to fulfil the purpose of the study. Seven individuals were first observed in a store while shopping and later interviewed about their shopping experience.

In the analysis the empirical data was analysed with some references drawn to the theoretical frame. Similar behavioural patterns were identified among the participants that formed the concepts: morning shoppers, one stop store, personal atmosphere, brand unawareness and finally service access. In conclusions a store strategy, based on older consumers needs and preferences, was proposed that would make the older consumers of the study feel more welcomed in the store and hence hopefully shop more. The strategy contained features like: more staff members in the morning, more efficient use of the in-store kitchen, development of “We Care” strategy and others. Researcher’s own reflections and suggestions as well as the veracity conclude this bachelor thesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2007. , 81 p.
Keyword [en]
shopping behaviour, older consumers, store atmosphere
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1292OAI: diva2:140592
Available from: 2007-08-07 Created: 2007-08-07Bibliographically approved

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