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Elderly customers part of demographic shift for Japanese c-stores

TOKYO — Operators are moving away from cheap products in favor of higher quality, safe items.

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TOKYO — Japanese convenience stores are increasingly focused on elderly customers, according to Nacsonline.com.

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The shift is due to the aging population and lifespan increase in the country, noted the article. Stores are offering different products and services for the demographic including pharmacies, home delivery, healthy foods and elderly care support counters.

C-store chain Lawson has opened its first location with a nursing care consultation desk, stated the article. It has plans for another in the coming months. FamilyMart began offering a home delivery service after it acquired Senior Life Create Co.

Customers 50 and older rose from nine percent of all customers in 1989 to 30 percent in 2013, reported the article. People aged 29 and younger dropped from 63 to about 29 percent at 7-Eleven stores in the same period.

Operators are moving away from cheap products in favor of higher quality, safe items, shared the article.

“Until maybe a decade ago, the image of convenience stores was of a place where young people away from home could pick up food of their preference, like fast food restaurants,” said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities Economic Research Institute, in the article. “At that point, strategies targeting males in their 20s was important. … But now female customers in their 40s and 50s are increasing.”

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