News — Purple Tuesday
The UK’s accessible shopping day, 3 November 2020
What is Purple Tuesday?
Purple Tuesday 2020 is an international call to action, focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people. It will involve organisations of all sizes and from all sectors taking decisive, practical actions to meet the needs of disabled customers.
Across the UK, the Purple Pound – the consumer spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth £249 billion and is rising by an average of 14% per annum. Worldwide, the Purple Pound equates to a staggering £2.25 trillion, yet less than 10% of businesses have a targeted plan to access this disability market.
Purple Tuesday is about creating a step change improvement in the awareness of the value and needs of disabled customers. It is about making the customer experience accessible. Participating organisations will make public commitments (a minimum of one new activity or initiative) to ensure sustainable changes are made. For organisations, this will result in the opening up of products and services to the disability market.
What’s it all about?
Nearly one in 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.
What Purple Tuesday isn’t?
Purple Tuesday isn’t just a one-day shopping event, like Black Friday. The aim of the day is to increase awareness of the value and needs of disabled consumers and encourage changes in business practise that improve customer experience over the long term. For retailers, this will result in the opening up of their products and services to the widest customer base possible.
Hello, can I help you?
Research shows that the fear of unintentionally offending a disabled customer by saying or doing the ‘wrong thing’ is the biggest barrier for customer service staff. Swerving a first conversation can feel like the less risky thing to do. This short guide is designed to support you to become more confident in providing good customer service to disabled people, as you do to all customers.
Did you know?
Almost 20% of UK adults (13 million people) have a disability.
80% of disabled people have ‘invisible’ or hidden impairments.
Only 5% of disabled people use a wheelchair.
75% of disabled people have left a store or website because of poor service and/or accessibility issues.
Some practical hints for you
Talk to a wheelchair user directly and make eye contact with them rather than the floor, or the person they are with.
Let a blind person reach out for your arm to guide them around the store rather than you giving them your arm.
Teach yourself hello and goodbye in sign language. Stick to clear facts when talking to people with autism or Aspergers.
Refer to ‘disabled people’ or a ‘person with disability’ rather than ‘the disabled’ or ‘a handicapped person’.
Avoid phrases like ‘suffers from’ and say instead ‘living with’.
People with mental health issues have a condition rather than are crazy, mad or sad.
Refer to people without a disability as ‘non-disabled’ rather than ‘able-bodied’.
Here at Brunswick we are marking the day with two initiatives.
Quiet Hours from 9:00 – 13:00
We know Brunswick can be a busy place, which can be potentially overwhelming for people with autism, especially at this time of year, so for these hours there will be no music in the centre, our retailers are also trying to do the same in store.
Here to help
You’ll see our Front of House Team sporting thumbs up Purple Tuesday badges! It’s simple by giving support, we hope that visiting and shopping at Brunswick be and easy, safe relaxing and enjoyable as possible for all.