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Purple Tuesday to promote accessible shopping

Purple Tuesday to promote accessible shopping
24th August 2018 Ian Streets

The benefits for businesses of improving accessibility will be highlighted by Purple Tuesday – billed as the UK’s first accessible shopping day.
The event, due to take place on Tuesday 13 November, is being organised by the disability organisation Purple to make customer-facing businesses more aware of these opportunities and challenges presented by disabled people.
The ultimate aim is to inspire businesses to make changes to improve the disabled customer experience over the long term.
Purple highlighted the issues in their press release: “Nearly one in every five people in the UK has a disability or impairment, and over half of households have a connection to someone with a disability. Their collective spending power – the Purple Pound – is worth £249 billion to the UK economy.
“However, this potential is not being fully realised. There are still real – and perceived – barriers that make it harder for disabled people to find work, spend money online and in store, and enjoy a drink or meal out.”
Purple is urging any business or organisation that interacts with disabled customers – either at a physical location or online – to sign up to Purple Tuesday via the website at https://purpletuesday.org.uk or by sending an email to info@purpletuesday.org.uk, or using Twitter @purpletuesdayuk
They want participants to make at least one long-term commitment aimed at improving the experience for their disabled customers going forward.
The exact nature of the commitment is up to each individual business, depending on their specific resources and needs. However, examples include introducing regular “quiet hours” for people with sensory issues, improving store wayfinding, or introducing more inclusive marketing and product photography.
The initiative is endorsed by the Department for Work and Pensions with support from a steering group of launch partners including Argos, Barclays, British Retail Consortium, Contacta, Landsec, Marks & Spencer, Revo and Sainsbury’s.
Purple Tuesday has been welcomed by other disability organisations. James Taylor, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Scope, said: “This initiative is an important reminder to retailers that disabled customers should not be an afterthought.
“Disabled people too often face unnecessary difficulties when shopping, with issues such as poor accessibility and lack of awareness from staff, so it’s great to see so many big names on board with this initiative.
“Disabled people and their families should have an equal chance to shop, whether that’s on the high street or online. Businesses need to make themselves open to disabled people every day of the year, not just as a one-off.”

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