Residents from a retirement housing property were celebrating after Sainsbury’s stores in Milton Keynes joined their campaign to help older shoppers.
Staff and residents from Anchor’s Germander Place in Conniburrow welcomed the supermarket chain’s support of their national Standing Up 4 Sitting Down (su4sd) campaign.
More than 600 Sainsbury’s stores have joined the campaign which is calling for retailers to maintain the amount of seating available in-store so that older and disabled people, pregnant women or anyone who needs to can rest mid-shop.
Anchor launched the campaign after research found that 69% of over 70s said the amount of seating in public places across the country is falling with 66% believing the lack of seating in shopping areas is a problem.
Shoppers visiting the Sainsbury’s stores at Witan Gate, Engaine Drive and Brunel Centre, which will be displaying the su4sd sticker, are encouraging older people to use the seating by the tills.
Sheryl Haynes, manager of Germander Place, said: “It is great that 600 Sainsbury’s branches across the country, including the three local to us, will support the Standing Up 4 Sitting Down campaign.
“Older people are often cut off from the online world, so it’s crucial we enable them to connect in other ways.
“Anchor’s campaign calls for change that benefits everyone. For shops, providing seating is a great opportunity to boost footfall and spending. For older people, it offers the opportunity for important social contact to tackle loneliness, encourages physical exercise, and allows a generation the chance to live later life to its fullest.”
Clare Muscutt, head of customer experience at Sainsbury’s, said: “We work hard to make our supermarkets an inclusive and welcoming environment for customers.
“We provide chairs at the back of our checkouts for anyone that would find them useful, as well as offering assistance at all times to customers who may need additional help shopping in store with us. We fully support the Standing Up 4 Sitting Down campaign and hope customers will make use of this seating when they visit our supermarkets.”
The su4sd campaign has also been supported by Debenhams, Hotter, and more than 200 independent retailers across England. More than 15 charities and several MPs and the former Chancellor George Osborne have supported the campaign.
Sheryl Haynes said that if any other retailers wanted to join the campaign, pledging to maintain the number of seats they have available for shoppers to use, they can contact the su4sd team at firstname.lastname@example.org