The City Centre as an Age-Friendly Shopping Environment: A Comparative Study of Older and Younger Consumers’ Perceptions

Anna-Maija Kohijoki, Katri Koistinen, Minna Kaarakainen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The urban population ageing has major implications for city centres to cater for an increasing number of older consumers. To guide world cities on taking action in response to population ageing, the World Health Organization has addressed the universal features of the age-friendly city. Based on the WHO guideline, this study focuses on city centres as age-friendly shopping environments. The emphasis is on the perceptions of older consumers (focus-group participants aged 64–94) and compared them with those of younger consumers (qualitative-survey respondents aged 21–41). Using a qualitative content analysis, the study explores the content and meanings of the age-friendly city features in the context of shopping, and whether older consumers are different from younger consumers in their behaviour and perceptions. The findings show that although older and younger consumers use the shopping environment in dissimilar ways, they highlight the same characteristics in the city centre. This indicates that measures to develop the city centre friendlier to older consumers also benefit their younger counterparts, but for different reasons. It is necessary to understand this disparity in order to develop a city-centre shopping environment that is friendly for different ages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Conference of the European Association for Education and Research in Commercial Distribution (EAERCD)
EditorsCarmen Berné-Manero, José Miguel Pina-Pérez
Number of pages23
Place of PublicationZaragoza
PublisherUniversidad de Zaragoza
Publication date2019
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-948481-6-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Conference of the European Association for Education and Research in the Commercial Distribution - Zaragoza, Spain
Duration: 2 Jul 20197 Jul 2019
Conference number: 20

Fields of Science

  • 512 Business and Management

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