As a possible reflection of the increasing number of aging generations, Aeon Co., one of Japan’s largest mall and supermarket chains, has opened a center that focuses specifically on product and services for senior customers. The new shopping center in Funabashi, Chiba prefecture, opened this week at 9 AM to a waiting crowd of 5,000 people. A first of its kind for Aeon, executive officer Shohei Murai said that with changing demographics, the company will adapt to better serve the diversified and increasingly active senior population. It’s predicted that within 20 years, people aged 65 or older will make up approximately 30% of the Japanese population.
Before now, Aeon centers have made families their core customer group, but they are now making plans to slowly change the focus of some existing locations to be more attractive to seniors. At the new Funabashi center, some of the new demographic focused shops include Opt Value, Aeon’s own optical store, which can complete same-day orders of bifocals. There is also an additional focus on South Korean brand cosmetics, as they are increasingly popular these days among women in their 40′s and above. The grocery store still plays a large part of the location, with popular food and produce. Escalator speeds have slowed down in an attempt to be more senior-friendly. One of the first-day visitors commented that they liked being able to finish their shopping while waiting for their order at the clinic to be finished.