There is a rapidly growing market, right under the nose of businesses in Kildare. The over 65 population in Ireland, which was 535,000 in 2011, will be on the threshold of one million people by 2031. In Kildare, this demographic is expanding just as rapidly, set to more than double from 16,000 to 40,000 in this time. With an average annual disposable income of €20,000 among over 65’s, this cohort has the spending power and spending habits to significantly boost any business.
The Kildare Age Friendly County Alliance is launching a Business Recognition Programme to acknowledge business in the county that actively improve the experience of older consumers. Starting with Naas in May, before rolling out into towns in each municipal district, businesses will be invited to participate on the programme. The process will help local businesses to tap into this growing market, while improving the experience of older shoppers.
The Chamber are delighted to support this scheme, Allan Shine, CEO of the Chamber said today “ The Age Friendly Business Recognition Scheme not only promotes social inclusion but is an excellent opportunity for us to review our overall customer service. This can only improve the experience for all of our customers as well as our valued older customers. The over 50 sector have more time to shop around for great value and service and tend to be very loyal when they find it. The Chamber is delighted to be involved in this initiative so that we can ensure they have the best possible experience when dealing with businesses in Naas’. We look forward also to the roll out of this scheme in all other towns in Kildare in due course”
The steps are simple and the benefits are huge. Participants will identify an age friendly ‘champion’ to attend a one hour workshop. Following this, businesses will be required to consult with their older customers and identify three actions to improve the overall customer experience. Business will receive recognition upon implementation of these actions. Examples of actions that may be implemented are:
- Provide seating for older customers
- Special product offerings
- Improved easy to read menus and prices
- Adjust the music in the premises at certain times
- Easier access to certain products
Actions will vary, depending on the type of business and the experience of your customers. There are many other “low-cost” or “no-cost” initiatives that businesses can implement in order facilitate older customers. By doing so, and through recognition as an Age Friendly Business, businesses can increase footfall and spend from older consumers. These are people that have more purchasing power, more time to shop and are far more likely to repeat business.
This Business Recognition Programme is a priority action of the recently launched Kildare Age Friendly County Strategy 2016 – 2018. This document has been produced by the Kildare Age Friendly County Alliance, a multi-agency group of senior decision makers from key public, private and not for profit agencies. This group works within existing community structures, networks and service providers with the aim of making Kildare a great county in which to grow old.
If businesses are interested in getting involved in the Business Recognition Programme, or to simply find out more, please contact Allan Shine firstname.lastname@example.org