Purple Tuesday 2022: Launch of ‘Top tips for retailers’ guide
This Purple Tuesday Sight Loss Councils, led by blind and partially sighted members, are continuing their quest to help #MakeRetailAccessible. They are also launching a new guide for retail staff.
The spending power of disabled people and their households amounts to £274 billion per year. A fifth of your potential customers will have a disability.
Is your retail experience accessible to blind and partially sighted customers?
What is Purple Tuesday?
Purple Tuesday is a global movement for organisations of all sizes from all sectors to get involved. The common goal is to improve the customer experience for disabled people. Sight Loss Councils across the UK are raising awareness of Purple Tuesday and distributing our new national guide for retail staff.
Launch of new guide for retail staff
Our new national ‘Top tips for retail staff‘ resource aims to help retail staff when assisting blind and partially sighted customers in store. The aim is to create a positive shopping experience for everyone.
There are a number of small things retailers can do that make a huge difference to the experience for blind and partially sighted people.
The development of this guide was led by Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council, working alongside retailers themselves.
In this short one-minute video, Sight Loss Council member Anthony describes the resource and how it can benefit retailers.
Making the changes in this guide makes business sense. There are 14.1M people with a disability in the UK (more than 2M are blind or partially sighted). It is estimated that the #PurplePound is worth £274 billion in the UK alone. However, more than 10 per cent of companies do not have plans to access the disability market. Creating a good experience will encourage your customers to spend more and return.
#PurpleTuesday is about raising awareness of the value and needs of disabled customers and making the customer experience accessible to all.
Experience how it feels to shop if you are blind or partially sighted
Sight Loss Councils regularly work alongside retailers to help #MakeRetailAccessible. For Purple Tuesday, they are also running some events to demonstrate what it feels like to shop as a blind or partially sighted person. This is alongside supporting the launch of our national resource for retail staff. Here’s an overview of some of these activities below.
Black Country Sight Loss Council
Our Black Country Sight Loss Council will be at Merry Hill Shopping Centre on 1 November for Purple Tuesday. Here, they will have a stand, be distributing our ‘Top tips for retail staff’ guide, and talking to customers, retailers and staff. They will also demonstrate the experience of shopping as a blind and partially sighted customer.
To do this, they will ask participants to perform a number of tasks while wearing simulation glasses (known as sim specs) which simulate various eye conditions. These will include checking the price of a product or finding a piece of clothing in a certain size, all whilst wearing a pair of sim specs.
Visit Black Country Sight Loss Council at the shopping centre between 10am – 2pm.
Greater Manchester and Merseyside
Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council (GMSLC) and Merseyside Sight Loss Council (MSLC) will be at the Manchester Arndale in Greater Manchester, and Croft Retail & Leisure Park, Wirral, on 1 November. They will also distribute the new ‘Top tips for retail staff’ guide.
At the events, they will also invite retail staff and customers to try simulation spectacles (sim specs). They will then ask participants to perform simple shopping tasks wearing the sim specs.
Engagement Manager for Greater Manchester and Merseyside Sight Loss Councils, Kelly Barton, said:
“Purple Tuesday marks the launch of our Top Tips for Retails resource. The resource aims to make shopping a positive experience for blind and partially sighted people. Our GMSLC members have created this national resource alongside other blind and partially sighted member of the community, and retailers themselves.
“We are delighted that the Manchester Arndale and Croft Retail & Leisure Park are supporting Sight Loss Councils to work with retailers to help make shopping more inclusive for everyone.”
Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council member Anthony Gough said:
“Purple Tuesday provides a platform from which we can ask what can be done to make shopping experiences better for blind and partially sighted people. It is also a celebration of what has been achieved and what the future holds with advancements in staff training, technology and awareness. As a Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council volunteer, I’m proud of the progress we have made in this area.
“I am also looking forward to Purple Tuesday, when we’ll be at the Manchester Arndale speaking to retailers and members of the public about how we can come together to make retail accessible for blind and partially sighted customers.”
Merseyside Sight Loss Council member Norma Williams said:
“Purple Tuesday is about people with disabilities and the millions of pounds they contribute to the economy. We will all continue to work together to help ensure retail is accessible for everyone.”
The Merseyside event takes place at Croft Retail & Leisure Park, Wirral, from 10am – 1pm. The Greater Manchester event takes place at Manchester Arndale from 11am – 6pm.
Greater Manchester Sight Loss Council has developed excellent partnerships with retailers, and also delivered some Visual Impairment Awareness Training to staff at Manchester Arndale last week.
Northumberland Sight Loss Council
Northumberland Sight Loss Council will be at Keel Row Shopping Centre, Blyth, on 1 November. They will have a stand and will be distributing the ‘Top tips for retailer staff’ resource. They will use this opportunity to share lived experience with customers and retailers alike. Visit them from 1 – 3pm.
Testing a new indoor navigation app at retail stores
A selection of Sight Loss Councils will also be testing out a new indoor navigation app on a variety of dates at a selection of Asda stores, as part of Purple Tuesday activities.
The aim is to explore how the GoodMaps Explore indoor navigation app could make shopping more accessible for blind and partially sighted people, working in partnership with Asda.
Asda says use of the app means customers will be able to search for key landmarks within the store such as the pharmacy, toilets and tills. They also explain that the app can search for specific product categories on the shelves to guide the customer as close as possible to the item they are looking for.
London SLC outside ASDA. From left to right: Hubert, Tech Team Intern at TPT, Vicky and Davinder, London SLC members, and Lucy Williams, Senior Engagement Manager (South)
Read more about these trials here: https://bit.ly/3CcVdEJ
Are you blind or partially sighted? If you want to join Sight Loss Councils and help us influence positive change, we have Sight Loss Councils in a number of regions throughout the country. Apply to volunteer for a Sight Loss Council near you.
Publication date: 31 October 2022