How mobile grocery wagons can help disadvantaged shoppers in Tokyo’s outskirts?: Characteristics of purchasing points and purchased items
This study aims to investigate the actual usage and effectiveness of the mobile grocery wagon for people who have difficulty in accessing grocery stores in the outskirts of Tokyo. Recently, in Japan, even residential areas near large cities have a large aging population, the number of these disadvantaged shoppers has been increasing. One of the reasons for this is a lack of accessibility to the grocery stores. Since elderly people in urban areas do not use cars as frequently as those in suburban areas, their accessible range rapidly becomes narrower by they age. Various barriers on the way to the store also pose as challenges for the elderly. These results in a risk of unbalanced nutrition intake or even malnutrition, because people with such difficulty cannot go to store at appropriate frequency and buy sufficient amount of groceries. The mobile grocery wagon is one of the countermeasures for this situation. This service gives people the chance of getting groceries near thier residence. In this study, we investigate the actual usage of the mobile grocery sales wagon. The target are the Takashimadaira and Nakaitabashi areas in Itabashi ward, and the Otsuka area in Toshima ward, all located in outskirts of central Tokyo. The primary customers of the service in these areas are elderly people. Using detailed data of purchasing points (i.e. locations at which each customer used the service) and purchased items, we assessed whether the service can help the disadvantaged shoppers.