Older Consumers in Malaysia

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Fon Sim Ong
David R. Phillips

Abstract

The main objective of this study was to understand the concerns and problems faced by older people in an industrializing middle-income country, Malaysia, in their process of acquiring products to meet their everyday needs. Respondents aged 55 and over were interviewed in eight states throughout Peninsular Malaysia providing 1356 usable questionnaires; two-thirds from urban and one-third from rural areas. Education, health status, and life satisfaction were recorded. Service patronage behaviour was examined for four main categories of commonly-sought consumer goods: groceries, health supplements, apparel, eating outlets, plus selected services (public transport, vacation packages and financial services). The findings showed that older adults in Malaysia are rather discerning consumers. Many respondents are price conscious and have developed consumer attitudes with regard to attitude of staff and assistance rendered. Many display a good ability to discriminate and to select, especially on the basis of price and durability of products and many appear to be acting as effectively as consumers in any other age group.

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