Shopping to suit all the generations

Living responsibly
An article by Dr Stephanie Dutzke- Wittneben, Sustainability Team, ECE Projektmanagement

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The Altmarkt-Galerie Dresden, managed by ECE, is one of the first shopping centers in the country to be awarded the “Generation- Friendly Shopping” quality certificate by the German Trade Association (Handelsverband Deutschland, HDE).

The “Generation-Friendly Shopping” quality certificate is awarded to retailers and shopping centers where shopping is convenient and easily accessible for people of all age groups, families, single people and people with disabilities. The aim is to provide a pleasant experience for older people, wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs. The Altmarkt-Galerie Dresden is located in a very lively area with a wide range of age groups. Young and old come together here to shop and appreciate the quality of the environment that the center provides. The center also has outstanding transport links and can be accessed easily by people with limited mobility.

The German Trade Association joined together with various retailers, associations and institutions and the “Wirtschaftsfaktor Alter” initiative to create a standard procedure for certifying retailers and shopping centers that are designed to meet the required cross-generational criteria. Shopping centers and retailers are checked against a list of requirements by trained testers. The requirements for certifying a shopping center include accessibility to the center, accessibility within the center, center design including signposting and anti-slip flooring, the range of services provided and the service behaviour of staff. For a shopping center to receive certification, at least 70% of the shops within the center must also be certified in accordance with the HDA’s requirements.

The objective of the “Generation-Friendly Shopping” certification initiative is to create a standard national symbol for shops that are accessible to all the generations, to position retail as a model and pioneer for a generation-friendly future, to raise awareness of changing customer needs among businesses and to define a standard procedure. Many Deutsche-EuroShop centers already meet the majority of the certification criteria. Following on from the Altmarkt-Galerie Dresden, other Deutsche EuroShop centers likely to be awarded the quality certificate in the near future include the Main-Taunus-Zentrum, the Rathaus- Center Dessau and the Stadt-Galerie Passau.


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