Slow Lanes: Better Pace for Older Shoppers

Quartz: “The researchers in food and public policy from the University of Hertfordshire suggested that supermarkets should introduce ‘slow lanes’ for the elderly, for whom shopping for food is part of a social experience that new technology is eroding … Automated check-outs and efficient service ignore a vital community aspect of food shopping, and not just in the UK but across developed economies, the researcher (Wendy Wills) said.”

“Older people want to remain active but can feel intimidated because they ‘know they’re really slow,’ she said. ‘And they want staff that are going to spend time talking to them…spending some time rather than rushing them.’ Similarly, said Wills, the idea that online food-shopping is a way to help older, less mobile people ignores the need for people to come together.”

“And it seems the ‘slow lanes’ idea could actually catch on, as supermarkets begin to take responsibility for their place in the architecture of local communities. Wills said several local trials had already taken place, and more than one large British supermarket chain had expressed interest in working with the university as it continues with the research.”

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