Sainsbury’s To Begin ‘Slow Shopping’ To Help Elderly And Vulnerable Customers Cope With Stress

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A woman is championing ‘slow shopping’ for elderly and vulnerable customers in supermarkets, after her own mother struggled to cope with the ‘stress’ of shopping. 

Katherine Vero’s mum Jo loved to shop but after developing dementia she began to find the weekly shop increasingly ‘difficult and stressful’. Fearing that her mum would become isolated, Katherine began to look for ways to help her enjoy shopping again.

After Jo passed away, Katherine had a brainwave and developed the concept of ‘slow shopping’, which is basically an afternoon once a week where elderly and vulnerable shoppers can take their time to go round the shops.

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Now Katherine’s great idea is being trialled by a Sainsbury’s store in Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, The International Business Times reports.

Every Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm, customers who wish to use the service will be greeted at the store’s entrance and staff will assist those who need it with their shopping.

Chairs are even being put out at the end of aisles for customers who struggle to make it around the store without taking a break.

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Best of all, there’ll be help desks set out, offering both advice and free samples for customers.

The deputy manager of the Gosford Sainsbury’s, Scott McMahon, said:

When my father developed cancer, I saw how hard he found shopping yet he still wanted to go to maintain his independence, so when Katherine approached me about trialling Slow Shopping I was keen to help.

I knew Sainsbury’s would want to support it too. We invest a lot of time in training colleagues in how to help customers with disabilities; so we were well placed to go the extra step of putting out chairs and manning help points, but it’s our colleagues who really make the difference.

Katherine is ‘delighted’ that Sainsbury’s have agreed to help her trial slow shopping, adding that she hopes other retailers will get in on the act.