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Seniors study series continues.

Latest study: Future business will not be transacted. Most important group of buyers is being trampled underfoot.

5 years later: The THOMSEN GROUP has completed the next study in the series on seniors



Whereas the study group conducted by the THOMSEN GROUP in 20 disproved the image of seniors ranging in ages from 62 to 81, the most recent study focuses on: Older people and retail. This study has not only been carried out on a qualitative basis, but has also been carried out on a quantitative basis, in collaboration with Infratest: 1.012 Germans were questioned in the representative survey alone.


Five years ago, the strategy consultants specializing in innovation posed the following questions: Retirees and their twilight years—discarded, rejected and shuffled off? To nursing homes and senior residences? The study disproved stereotypical images: Duing the so-called third "life," things actually looked a lot different even in 2010. Read more here.

This time in your most recent study, the Hamburgers are focusing on the relationship among people from 70 years and older and on the retail trade.

Here are some results:

The opinion of Germans 70 years and older is divided with regard to the question of whether the retail trade sufficiently endeavors to cater to older people: Seniors were nearly equally divided in their belief that the retail industry a) should do more to become more attractive to senior citizens (46 percent) and b) that retailers already do enough to cater to older people (45 percent).

The younger age groups of the surveyed seniors and the respondents with low household net income were omitted, however, from this poll: The 70-74 year-old segmemt (i.e. those who as senior citizens are relatively more mobile and where there would therefore be a greater possibility that they would purchase from the retail industry), and respondents with low incomes (who are therefore likely to be particularly interested in a trading portfolio in the lower and middle price segment) overwhelmingly desired that the retail trade would try to become more attractive to their age group.

Whereas among the respondents, the women were more of the opinion that the retail industry should do for older than it already is and was not catering to them enough, the male seniors take rather the opposite view.

In qualitative video and group interviews by the THOMSEN GROUP, the respondents were somewhat clearer:

Only 25% of respondents state that the retail sector has adequately adjusted to the needs of seniors. 62% clearly state that retailers need to do more in terms of catering to this growing demographic segment. Shopping to seniors is more than just getting supplies—this especially touches on inner-city core layers.


77% consider going into town a chance "to be around people." 75% see downtown as a leisure spot. 62% appreciate the diversity and variety downtown offers. Downtown is the place where the biggest bundle of needs can be satisfied at the best superstore. 58% of respondents, however, state that inner-city shopping locations pose challenges due to the barriers in the constructed spaces.

Other areas of investigation:

  • The current (communicative) efforts on the part of retail sector to position itself as attractive/active to the "seniors" target group, along with the "generation-friendly" certificate.
  • Potential ways out of the (innovative) crisis of retail trade were examined.
  • Relatively easy-to-implement service innovation.
  • Optional platform offers.
  • "Enabler" options.


The self-determined agility of the elderly, which has already called for in the 2010 study, is also found again in the current investigation of 2015.



A personal presentation of the study will be carried out in selected European cities.

If you are interested, please go to: studien(At)thomsen.de

Chairman's corner.

Agility instead of the victim role. TGISC® study with respect to the image of the elderly.

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