Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Purple Tuesday The UK's Accessible Shopping Day

Today, Tuesday 13th November is Purple Tuesday, the UK's accessible shopping day.

Disabled people make up one in five in the UK and the Purple Pound is estimated at £249 billion to the UK economy. And yet retailers are missing out on this by overlooking the needs of their disabled customers.

Purple Tuesday is here to raise awareness of the Purple Pound and help businesses break down the barriers that make shopping difficult for disabled people. The stores that participate must make one long-term commitment to improve the shopping experience for disabled customers, be it wider aisles, inclusive marketing or quiet hours.

With so much money to be made by retailers they are definitely missing a trick by not having their stores and websites accessible.

I am a massive fan of shopping (who knew?) and I know which stores I can go in and have the best time and which stores I never set my wheels in. It could be that there's step access, the aisles are too narrow, the shop floor is always cluttered, it's an obstacle course to get around or I simply can't find the lift; there's so many reasons but I make a mental note of the shops that religiously mess up and don't consider their disabled customers and those that go the extra mile. Considering I do this, imagine how many other disabled people are boycotting your shop because of sometimes simple things that can easily be changed. How much money they're losing out on. Wild.

The shops that I do actively avoid I have repeatedly been in touch with their Head Offices and highlighted the difficulties I have in their stores and they have always assured me they will look into it but nothing has been done. So hopefully by raising awareness of Purple Tuesday that will lead to a change.

There are so many alterations that can be done to make the shopping experience for disabled people better, to make it more inclusive and enjoyable. However not every disabled person has the same needs and no one fix will solve problems for everyone but making a change is a start. Hopefully a start with a means to go on and make even more changes in the near future. I'll keep all my bendy bits crossed.

What would you like to see more shops do to be inclusive?

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