Retailers to host dedicated accessible shopping events
Central Bedfordshire Council is encouraging local businesses to be more accessible to disabled people ahead of a new awareness day, Purple Tuesday, to be held on 13 November.
Purple Tuesday will see retailers host dedicated events to promote awareness about disabled customers, highlight the difficulties existing disabled shoppers face and measures that can be put in place to overcome them.
The disability organisation Purple launched the initiative in August. Purple ceo, Mike Adams, said:
“Purple Tuesday is just the start. The timing is perfect as the busy Christmas shopping period begins, and both retailers and disabled shoppers are set to benefit during the festive season.
“Our aim in creating this national day of purple events is to encourage retailers to achieve accessibility for disabled people, and empower consumers so they feel confident to shop anywhere.”
Most retailers do not have a targeted strategy
The Purple Pound is estimated to be worth £249 billion a year, yet only 10% of businesses have a targeted strategy to access this market.
This is despite research that found disabled customers have a higher level of brand loyalty than any other customer group.
Securing custom from the estimated 12 million disabled people living in the UK makes commercial sense. Shoppers are also encouraged to show their support, by visiting their local shopping centre or high street on the day.
More than 500 established and up-and-coming retail organisations are taking part
High-profile retailers such as Argos, Asda, Barclays, M&S and Sainsbury’s, plus retail property owners including Hammerson and Landsec, have committed to demonstrate to employees and customers how to make shopping an easier and more pleasurable experience for disabled consumers.
Beyond the 13th November awareness day, Purple will work alongside organisations to support implementation of commitments made, including customer service training and providing support to increase accessibility of websites and other online technology.
Wider support includes physical access audits, improved signage and increasing the involvement of disabled mystery shoppers.
Sarah Newton MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, said:
“By failing to cater to their disabled customers, many businesses are missing out on the spending power of disabled people and are denying them the opportunity to enjoy something which many people take for granted.
“There is still time to get involved in this important initiative and I encourage businesses across the country to do just that – and reap the rewards.”
Purple Tuesday launch partners include:
- British Property Federation
- British Retail Consortium
- Home Retail Group
- Marks & Spencer
- The Crown Estate