Chairs Come to East Harlem Retailing
On February 18, community volunteers in East Harlem distributed
chairs and window stickers bearing the slogan "Age-friendly New York
50 businesses, including bodegas, florists, pharmacies and supermarkets. The
initial sticker and chair distribution is part of a larger program led by the
New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) that aims to build awareness among all
sectors in response to an expected older adult population increase projected
at 50 percent over the next 20 years.
The "Age-friendly NYC" sticker
on windows indicates those stores "welcome
the business of older adults and are striving to better serve their needs," according
to a statement from the coalition. But based on a series of community discussions
with older adults about what they need in their neighborhood, the foremost
goal of the Age-friendly Business coalition initially is to provide chairs
for older people (and people of all ages) to rest while shopping, while waiting
on line or waiting for a service.
"I am so proud that the small businesses in our neighborhood listened
to the older adults of the community and are taking these steps to make their
businesses age-friendly," said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito
in a statement. "Having
a chair can make a world of difference — to a business’s bottom
line and to an older adult out in the community."
"Many businesses told us that older adults are their most loyal customer
base and that they are doing many things to accommodate them as a part of good
customer service," said Dorian Block of NYAM. "Businesses are putting
their stock on lower shelves, offering delivery services and making their font
size larger on printed materials to better serve older customers. At the same
time businesses are hungry to learn about how they can make no or low cost
changes to their store, office or restaurant to keep older adults shopping
and coming to their businesses."
East Harlem is the first neighborhood
to receive Age-friendly stickers and educational materials, but they will be
given out over the next few months across the city.
- Age-friendly New York City Launches Age-friendly Business Program in East
Harlem – The New York Academy of Medicine
- NYC stores launch effort for senior customers – The Wall Street Journal
- Stores Adding Chairs For Weary Shoppers – FOX NY
Discussion Questions: Is providing seating becoming more critical across retail channels as Boomers age? What other aging needs will likely become even more important than seating to retail customers in the years ahead?