A generation-friendly store with needs-based service offers competitive advantages, clear profiling and thus greater customer loyalty and satisfaction. Shopping should be convenient and accessible for all customers – no matter whether they are parents with children, single people, families, people in wheelchairs or senior citizens. Wanzl offers practical tools to help with shopping: these create trust and contribute effectively to the store results, even after just a short while.
Product overview: Retail Systems
Shopping: for some of us it is a necessary chore that we have to perform again and again, whilst for others it's a hugely enjoyable leisure activity. But even chores are easier to do when the conditions are as favourable as possible. However, more and more people are having to get through their shopping with their own particular difficulties: back pain, a poorly leg, declining eyesight, a walking frame or wheel chair, time pressures, children with or without pushchairs... These are just a few examples of small, everyday hurdles that have to be overcome when shopping in today’s society. Supermarkets and stores should therefore do everything within their power to ensure that when customers come to shop, this entire experience is as pleasant as possible. This is the opinion of the German Retail Federation (HDE), which represents the interests of the entire retail sector in Germany and is engaging with this topic. The HDE has looked at a huge variety of businesses through the eyes of customers and has gone through the results with a fine-tooth comb. The investigation has resulted in the creation of the "Generationenfreundliches Einkaufen" (Generation-friendly shopping) label. This is a seal of quality that certifies that the relevant company is well set-up for demographic change and makes shopping as easy as possible for its customers.
The idea has quickly attracted enthusiasts and devoted activists. German Federal Minister for Family Affairs Kristina Schröder is the patron of the initiative. Ms Schröder’s ministry and the "Wirtschaftsfaktor Alter" (old age economic factor) German federal initiative, along with many other organisations and companies involved in retail, are supporting the initiative. Testers from within the regional retail federations, who have been trained specially for the quality seal, go directly to the stores and check the entire business, using a comprehensive system. From the big picture down to the detail – from the layout of the shop to the information in small print on the shelves.
The catalogue of criteria covers a total of 58 individual points. At least 70% of all the criteria supplied must be fulfilled for the business to be awarded the "Generation-friendly shopping" seal. There are A, B and C criteria. The criteria in both the A and B sections must be entirely fulfilled, and the criteria in section C are "the icing on the cake" and improve the overall result. The HDE awards the "Generation-friendly shopping" quality seal for a period of three years. After this time, retesting is carried out. Testing costs between 180 and 700 euros depending on the size of the business. More than 4000 businesses across Germany now have the white shopping bag on castors with the slogan "Ausgezeichnet Generationenfreundlich" (highly generation-friendly) on display at their entrances. These are mainly made up of food and textile retail businesses. Chain-store companies, shopping centres and even entire shopping zones in city centres have discovered the positive effects of the quality seal for themselves and are actively advertising their participation among their customers. When planning new sites for stores, companies often use the HDE questionnaire as a tool to ensure accessibility is factored in from the very start. However, it is often the little things that bring that extra bit of added convenience. All in all, the "Generation-friendly shopping" quality seal has proven to be an effective tool for helping an entire sector become sensitive to requirements and fit for purpose in the face of demographic change.
Online: catalogue of criteria for "Generation-friendly shopping" www.generationenfreundliches-einkaufen.de
Monika Dürrer, Head of SME Policy at HDE, is the creator of the "Generation-friendly shopping" concept.