Some of the largest retailers in the UK have come together to launch the first ever accessibility day for disabled shoppers, set to take place on 13 November, in conjunction with charity Purple.

High street chains like Argos, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Marks & Spencer will come together in committing to make their stores more accessible for people with disabilities, and will be provided with additional training through Purple on how to improve disabled people’s shopping experience and make it more accessible, both online and in store.

Shopping centres like the Bullring in Birmingham and Regent Street in London will also take part in the initiative, which has been intentionally scheduled close to Christmas to help disabled people comfortably access the shops during the massive festive rush, which can be extremely difficult and stressful for disabled shoppers.

Sky News reported that in 2016, inaccessible websites and apps caused an £11.75 billion loss in revenue in the UK – but less than 10% of companies have outlined a dedicated strategy for targeting disabled shoppers.

Despite this, estimates put the collective spending power of disabled people and their families – called the Purple Pound – at £249 billion, but research from the Department of Work and Pensions shows that shopping, eating, and drinking out are the three most difficult activities for disabled people based on their accessibility.

Mike Adams, chief executive of Purple, told Sky News: “There’s a vast array of adjustments retailers can make that will have a significant impact, and many that can be implemented quickly.

“Customer service is a perfect example – as part of Purple Tuesday we’ll be providing a simple training kit to help in-store staff feel confident in assisting disabled shoppers.”

 

Image: Flickr/Dr Bob Hall

 

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