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Japan's Aeon to open stores geared toward seniors

Japanese retail giant AEON Co. Ltd. is looking to capitalize on the country's aging population by setting up 100 or more stores aimed at seniors by 2025, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Aug. 12.

The stores will partner with local government and medical institutions and offer elderly oriented products such as low-sodium foods, canes and reading glasses, according to the report. They will also entice older shoppers by offering reward points for things such as store visits between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and walking a certain number of steps.

In addition, the stores will schedule regular events such as exercise classes, seminars on healthy eating and hobby-related meetings, with the possibility of also offering services like health consultations and shuttle bus transportation.

Aeon Retail, the Japanese company's core subsidiary, will handle the rollout of the stores. It has been testing the concept at four locations and will expand that to 12 stores by February 2018 before adding another dozen or so each year from fiscal 2018, the report said. This will be done through either opening new stores or revamping existing ones that are at least 20 years old.