// M&S introduces sunflower lanyards to support customers with disabilities
// M&S has informed all 80,000 staff members on what the lanyards mean
// The sunflower lanyard scheme helps those with hidden disabilities
Marks and Spencer has introduced sunflower lanyards to all of its stores in the UK as part of an initiative to support customers with disabilities.
M&S has informed all 80,000 staff members on what the lanyards mean and how to serve customers who wear them.
The sunflower lanyard scheme helps people with disabilities which aren’t always visibly obvious – such as autism, dementia and visual or hearing impairments.
In addition to all UK stores, the lanyards will be available for customers to request from M&S’s customer service centre in Chester.
The bellwether retailer aims to become more accessible and inclusive with this initiative.
“We’ve had some great feedback from customers and our local community about the work we’ve done in kidswear to offer adapted clothing for children with disabilities,” M&S Merthyr Tydfil store manager, Rob Rankin said.
“We’ve carried out lots of in-store training to better help our customers with dementia.
“I know it will mean a lot to customers in my store – especially as we head towards the most exciting, but what can be the most stressful time of year for shopping – Christmas.”
M&S retail director Sacha Berendiji said: “As we work hard to transform M&S we remain committed to being the UK’s most accessible retailer for customers – however, wherever and whenever they want to shop – it all matters.”
Alongside launching the sunflower lanyard, M&S said it would introduce guides on how to implement sensory friendly hours and deaf awareness training which contains several key phrases in British Sign Language.
In February, Sainsbury’s launched the sunflower lanyard trial at its Barnstaple store in a bid to become “the UK’s most inclusive retailer”.