The mobile supermarket is a fresh food truck that drives into the residential zone or in areas far from the bazaar or supermarket. There are selling food, fresh fruits and vegetables to serve as if we were in the supermarket. It also offers special services such as the purchase of goods according to the consumer’s needs, such as sending products from restaurants or ordering a specific item which is not regularly sold and ordered in advance during the festival. In an ageing society such as Japan, it is pushing a mobile supermarket to stimulate the economy and please the elderly to be able to spend without having to go anywhere.
Since the majority of the Japanese population is elderly, the IMF report estimates that the ageing society will cause Japan’s annual GDP to fall by an average of 1% over the next 3 decades. At the same time, it is expected that the proportion of the elderly population over 65 years will increase from 28% to 38% by 2050, and most of them will be single and have no children. This is affecting the behavior of people, the number of supermarket customers may decrease because these older people are not convenient either to go to the supermarket or to carry heavy items back home would not be possible. Otherwise in some residential area is too far away from the supermarket, and public transportation may not support. So this mobile supermarket is a proactive marketing strategy and adaptation of local businesses and big companies. It appeared that this kind of business is very flourishing in Japan. Both local supermarkets and large capitalists are now making marketing plans to compete in this sector, the number of trucks is rapidly increasing every year, and they try to expand more service areas to be inside the cities. Also, sales have increased dramatically during this COVID-19 situation since most people cannot go outside.
Some people may wonder why this business is very prosperous in this online shopping era. Even though we have the delivery service, some customers still want to select fresh food on their own, and some elderly are not familiar with the technology. Moreover, the price would be lower than the supermarket, and they are frequenters of each service area. The familiarity of the seller and customer is also the critical factor, and the targets are elderly or housewives who are not convenient to go out.
This blog is an example of a business that has adaptation under globalization under the concept of “serves the convenience”, I could say that mostly it happened in Asian countries. It is possible that in the future we may have less space for supermarkets and retail in the city. Since the elderly in the future will be us in this generation who may have different desires from the elderly today. How do you think the buying experience will change? We may lessen the go out, so do it advantages or disadvantages for our city?
- Hasegawa, T., 2020. Aging Japan Creates Demand For Grocery Stores On Wheels. [online] Nikkei Asian Review. Available at: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Retail/Aging-Japan-creates-demand-for-grocery-stores-on-wheels [Accessed 16 April 2020].
- Walia, S., 2019. How Does Japan’S Aging Society Affect Its Economy?. [online] Thediplomat.com. Available at: https://thediplomat.com/2019/11/how-does-japans-aging-society-affect-its-economy/ [Accessed 16 April 2020].
- Siri, Y., 2015, ‘Systems and services of “Mobile supermarket” towards the development of housing estates: a research report’, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
- Peters, A., 2017. The Grocery Store Of The Future Is Mobile, Self-Driving, And Run By AI. [online] Fast Company. Available at: https://www.fastcompany.com/40429419/this-tiny-grocery-store-is-mobile-self-driving-and-run-by-ai [Accessed 16 April 2020].
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- Shimbun, C., 2017. Aichi’s Mobile Supermarkets Keeps Seniors Stocked With Groceries, Checks In On Aging Customers | The Japan Times. [online] The Japan Times. Available at: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/14/national/aichis-mobile-supermarkets-keeps-seniors-stocked-groceries-checks-aging-customers/#.XpdAb9MzbGK [Accessed 16 April 2020].
- Japan Bullet. 2016. Mobile Supermarket Brings Store To The Customer’s Doorstep. [online] Available at: https://www.japanbullet.com/features/mobile-supermarket-brings-store-to-the-customer-s-doorstep [Accessed 16 April 2020].