In 2014, 75% of disabled customers reported leaving a shop because of poor access or service. A report by the Business Disability Forum in 2015 found that £1.8 billion per month was being lost to businesses due to a lack of disability awareness. On 13 November, it’s ‘Purple Tuesday’, the UK’s first accessible shopping day
What is Purple Tuesday?
‘Purple Tuesday’ is the UK’s accessible shopping day. It aims to make customer-facing businesses more aware of the opportunities that are possible by making changes to improve the disabled customer experience. Over half of UK households have a connection to someone with a disability, and making a branch more accessible benefits all customers.
The day was created by We Are Purple and is supported by a broad range of retailers including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Barclays and the British Retail Consortium.
Supporting your community
The Post Office network sees millions of customers every day, many of who are vulnerable or disabled, and need extra help.
To find out how you can get involved to support you community visit https://purpletuesday.org.uk/ where you can download resources and find tips on how to be more confident when interacting with disabled customers.
Little things you could do today
- If you are talking to a wheelchair user, talk to them directly and make eye contact with them rather than the floor, or the person they’re with
- If the shop is noisy, ask if a customer wants to step to one side or go somewhere quieter to start the conversation. It can be the difference between staying and walking out – for many customers, not just people with a disability.
- When talking to people with autism or Asperger’s stick to clear facts e.g. “we have this jumper in red, navy and black” rather than “we have this jumper in lots of colours”
- Using the right language and etiquette is something lots of people worry about, but for the majority of customers it’s all about context. If in doubt, the customer knows best how you can help and what they need, so ask them.