What do elderly people do with their time? Play bowls? Go to tea dances? Perhaps. But the answer's also to be found at the major multiples' agms where most of the audience are white haired, shrewd operators.
A visit to the annual general meetings of Tesco, Sainsbury, Safeway, Somerfield and Morrisons revealed that exclusive loyalty isn't just difficult to gain at the till, it's also hard to find in your shareholders, as many of them turned up at more than one (with the notable exception of ex-Sainsbury chief executive Dino Adriano whose loyalty is evidently still undivided).
They're a pretty contented bunch, throwing a few tricky questions at the assembled directors, but generally keen to soak in the atmosphere, mingle with the retailers and tuck into as much free food as possible. Indeed, the spread was so good at Safeway that a large proportion of the audience went to sample it before the important business of voting was finished.
The opulent setting of a chandelier-dripping Dorchester Hotel in London's Park Lane lent Safeway's meeting a genteel air ­ a fact not wasted on one of the shareholders who questioned the thinking behind this when times were tight. But not every meeting was so swish. Morrisons and Somerfield stayed true to their roots and kept the meetings in their home territories of Bradford and Bristol respectively. Unfortunately, rail disruption meant Somerfield executive chairman John von Spreckelsen addressed a depleted audience of about 50 die-hards (or perhaps it was something to do with the venue ­ a rather drab meeting room at head office, complete with plastic chairs).
At least 500 people made it in on a wet morning to enthusiastically applaud Safeway chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez which gave its agm the feel of a party political conference.
There was a similar mood at Sainsbury where the set smacked more of a conference than an agm.
The event was videoed and big screens showed boss Sir Peter Davis and the huge stage full of other directors in all their glory.
Like any meetings, agms have a tendency to drag, particularly if the audience is asking questions.
Most lasted between one and a half and two hours, while Safeway's went beyond that with what seemed like dozens of elderly gents queuing to put questions.
But Somerfield's has to be one of the quickest agms in history. It was over in 45 minutes as von Spreckelsen rattled through the business and voting.

A serious purpose
AGMs have a serious purpose but most shareholders treat the meetings with levity ­ muttering and shushing at inappropriate remarks and time wasting.
Questions of a financial nature are common, but the agms also garnered a few more offbeat queries.
The Tesco board was given a good grilling several times on its remuneration packages and another shareholder, in an emotional state, criticised the board for its policy over stocking the morning-after pill.
At Sainsbury, most people talked about problems at particular stores, but there were also questions about GM and ex-senior director Robin Whitbread as well as the sale of the morning-after pill to under-16s which prompted a spirited response from chairman Sir George Bull who explained his dilemma over the issue as a "lifelong practising Catholic".
Morrisons' agm ­ no-nonsense and practical in every respect ­ saw Sir Ken Morrison and his team asked few, if almost no questions and everyone seemed more than happy with the way the company was run. Regret was expressed at the sudden death of former md John Dowd. But just in case you were in any danger of nodding off, there were always a few bizarre questions to keep you awake ­ requests to open stuck jars, for example.
At Tesco, proceedings were coloured by strange questions, catcalls and booing from all sides. The proceedings took on a surreal air, with chairman John Gardiner beginning to sound like Angus Deayton on a particularly taxing episode of Have I Got News for You.
And after the serious, yet perfunctory, business of voting, with most shareholders tucking into the free food, some of them rushed to the stage to meet the board and ask more personal questions or pat them on the back. It almost seemed like they were going to the stage to meet their idols after a pop concert.
Sir Peter was inundated with questions from excited shareholders while Criado-Perez had his own fan club too.
Somerfield's chief executive Alan Smith chatted jovially following his get-together, while at Morrisons the board mingled freely with the shareholders and the event began to almost resemble something like a coffee morning, with old friends catching up on the latest news and gossip.