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Japan's Aeon goes gray with gyms for seniors

Fitness centers will focus on socializing over exercise

Much of the space at Aeon's gyms will be devoted to a lounge and stretching machines.

TOKYO -- Retail group Aeon will launch fitness centers for the elderly, entering a growing business segment in fast-aging Japan.

The 3Fit gyms will emphasize socializing by members over rigorous exercise. Standard locations will have 250-350 sq. meters of space -- slightly bigger than a convenience store -- half of which will be dedicated to a lounge with a TV, vending machines and magazines. Members can drop by anytime, as no indoor footwear will be required.

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