According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese elderly people may soon access home help as well as more convenient grocery shopping through a new link-up between a major housing complex operator and the big three convenience store chains in Japan.
To strengthen community ties and improve the daily lives of elderly people, the Urban Renaissance Agency signed an agreement with Seven-Eleven Japan Co., FamilyMart Co. and Lawson Inc. on July 5 to enable the three companies to open their outlets in unoccupied facilities in the agency’s apartment complexes.
“We want to create an environment centering on convenience stores where elderly people can live without any anxiety,” said an agency official.
The move, proposed by the agency and agreed on by the three companies, is aimed at offering support for elderly people by helping them purchase essentials, as residents of the agency’s housing complexes become increasingly elderly.
Under the plan, convenience stores will open at a total of 100 locations. They will also consider providing housekeeper services through such stores in the future.
New stores are planned to be opened at unoccupied facilities in the agency’s apartment complexes that used to house supermarkets and other types of outlets primarily in the Tokyo metropolitan area and in and around the Kinki region.
More food products and daily necessities that elderly consumers typically like, such as ready meals, will be available at planned shops. Those stores will offer daily shopping services, room cleaning and mending services as well.
At some of the outlets, radio calisthenics and other programs will be provided to deepen interactions between residents, while residents will also be allowed to use the shops’ eat-in sections to hold gatherings.
The agency and the convenience store operators will consider having store staff handle urgent problems reported by residents on Saturdays and Sundays as well as at night, when caretakers of housing complexes are typically absent.
The agency operates many large apartment complexes, so the three companies expect cooperation with the agency will help them win new customers and increase their brand power.
Households of elderly people account for 40 percent of all the 740,000 families living in the agency’s 1,664 housing complexes across Japan. Among these, around 200 people annually die alone.
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