Updated: 04/01/2014 02:10

Singapore trails behind other countries in tapping potential of silver industry



Singapore trails behind other countries in tapping potential of silver industry

Singapore is trailing behind other countries in tapping the potential of the silver industry - and this is especially so in the commercial sector. 

Chairman of the Council for Third Age, Gerard Ee says Singapore malls, for instance, could do more to reach out to seniors. 

"I don't see department stores creating a segment to cater to the fashion tastes of older people, where the salesperson is a sales lady who is more mature, and not some teenager trying to sell a dress to a 75-year-old lady. You find that in Japan and some other places where a segment is set aside to cater to the tastes of older people. Because even in the current cohort - those in their 60s - they have the purchasing power, they have the needs."

|Mr Ee singled out one industry that has been actively targeting seniors. 

"The travel industry has caught up with it. They realise that older tourists don't want to rush from place to place so they're coming up with new packages taking you to places where you can enjoy the hot bath, the scenery, relax."

Mr Ee says seniors tend to be regarded as a single cohort. 

But in reality, there's a whole spectrum of seniors, from those in their 60s to those in their 80s. 

Their needs differ, and he adds this is why a one size fits all mentality has to be scrapped. 

He was speaking at the National University of Singapore's Symposium on Successful Ageing today.

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