Project: Retail Impact Project

In May 2022, the Retail Impact Project was launched as a pioneering collaboration between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Healthy Ageing Challenge, ILC, and the University of Stirling. This two-year initiative aimed to revolutionise the retail sector’s approach to serving older consumers, recognising their significant economic contribution and unique needs.

For our high streets to survive, they must become more inclusive. But retailers could thrive, not just survive, if they innovated to adapt to more older consumers.  Through this project the ILC aimed to encourage retailers to work alongside government, academics and other policymakers to play their part in tackling inequalities with a view to help revitalise our high streets and local economies.

The Retail Impact Project supported retailers in better understanding the evidence about what healthy ageing means and inspiring action in relation to their healthy ageing role. It stimulated action by retailers working alongside Government, academics and policymakers, playing their part in tackling inequalities helping revitalise our high streets and local economies. 

The project encouraged decision-makers in having conversations to change legislation, policy, culture and practice, facilitating a healthier ageing society and supporting healthy choices, healthy places and fostering a healthy retail workforce. 

Key achievements include a suite of published information guides for the retail sector, webinar presentations to organisations such as the Institute of Hospitality, webinar curation, a retail podcast and press releases demonstrating successful coverage.     

Retail Guides:

The ILC has developed five comprehensive guides to assist retailers in transforming their spaces into more inclusive environments:

Accessibility: Providing basic steps towards making shops more accessible.

Download Healthy Retail: Hints and tips on accessibility

Healthy Workforce: Encouraging practices that support the health of retail employees.

Download Healthy Retail: Hints and tips for a healthy workforce

Healthy Customer Service: Improving customer service to meet the diverse needs of all ages.

Download Healthy Retail: Hints and tips for healthy customer service

Healthy Retail Environment: Creating shopping environments that promote health and accessibility.

Download Healthy Retail: Hints and tips for a healthy retail environment

Healthier Choices: Encouraging retailers to offer products and services that support healthy ageing.

Download Healthy Retail: Hints and tips on healthier choices

Each guide combines research insights with practical advice, offering retailers actionable steps to cater to an ageing consumer base and contribute to a healthier, more inclusive shopping experience.

Healthy Retail Films

In addition to the guides, the project has released a suite of films highlighting best practices in retail:

This film showcases actions Marylebone Cricket Club has taken to ensure a warm welcome for all.
This film showcases the work of the Retail Trust supporting retired retailers throughout and beyond their working lives.
This film showcases how Ceramica Blue has made small changes, transforming the business to become a valued part of the local neighbourhood.
This film showcases P&T Newsagents practicing small but mighty actions, encouraging healthy customer choices.
This film showcases Eyra Design which creates practical and desirable products with extra functionality for an ageing population.

Project Lead

Ailsa Forbes

Project partners