Asda has become the latest retailer to launch an initiative in support of Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first accessible shopping day taking place tomorrow.
The grocer is set to trial an “inclusive hour” in its stores in Kent and Manchester, which will see selected stores turn off electric distractions for shoppers with autism and dementia who may be troubled and confused by loud noises.
Furthermore, over 1000 employees in the area have taken part in awareness sessions, giving them a greater understanding of the needs of shoppers who suffer from dementia and autism.
The hour will see selected Asda stores’ tannoy system turned off, its lighting levels dropped, its till volumes reduced and specialist equipment like wheelchairs and electric scooters be made available and accessible.
Since it introduced Quiet Hour in 2016, Asda has reportedly been working with a number of charities and local authorities to understand what simple changes can be made to stores to make it more inclusive for people with hidden conditions.
“The day will see retailers – in store and online – introducing new measures to make shopping a more inclusive experience, sending a powerful message that they care about all their customers and that their business matters to them,” Minister for Disabled People Sarah Newton told the Retail Gazette.
“It’s often the small changes that make a massive difference to people’s experiences, and many businesses are already doing great work in this area.
“Providing staff with disability awareness training, becoming Disability Confident and having clear walkways are all things that can be done to improve customers’ interaction with your business, and help retain their loyalty to your brand.
“More than 100 retailers are already involved with Purple Tuesday, including Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and Argos.”