The elderly are overlooked when it comes to designing stores, according to Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing and Health.

“Almost everything about supermarket shopping in the UK is wrong for elderly customers, from shelving that is too high to reach or too low to get to,” said Prof Jim Edwardson, founder of the Institute.

“Retailers need to address the needs of an ageing population and the opportunities to support healthy lifestyles and independence, not just in relation to nutrition but across a wide range of other services that the supermarkets increasingly provide.”

Tesco sent eight members of the Institute to a German store to gain ideas for an elderly friendly store proposed for Newcastle.

More than 60% of customers at the Kaiser store in Friedrichshain, near Berlin, are over 50 and sales have been 25% above those forecast. 

Features include wider aisles, magnifying glasses on trolleys and products, large signage, anti-slip flooring and a taxi on-demand service.