// Sainsbury’s and Argos roll out their sunflower lanyards in stores nationwide after successful trial
// The free lanyards act as a sign the customer has a hidden disability & may need additional support
Sainsbury’s and Argos has announced a nationwide roll-out of sunflower lanyards in stores as part of an initiative to support customers with hidden disabilities.
Following a successful trial earlier this year, the initiative offers shoppers the option to pick up a free sunflower lanyard in store, which has been designed to act as a sign for store colleagues that they may need to provide a customer with additional support.
Sainsbury’s staff will offer support such as assisting with finding shopping items or giving customers more time at the checkout.
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The sunflower design is now recognised by a number of organisations across the UK and was initially adopted by Gatwick Airport, which Sainsbury’s worked closely with throughout the trial.
“As we work towards our vision of being the UK’s most inclusive retailer, we’re proud to be offering sunflower lanyards in all stores,” Sainsbury’s board sponsor for disability carers and age, Tim Fallowfield said.
“Not all disabilities are visible, and it’s clear that a subtle signal can make a big difference in providing confidence and reassurance.
“Together with our colleagues, we hope to give all our customers the best possible experience when shopping, while working with the wider industry to raise awareness.”
Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer had also introduced sunflower lanyards to all of its stores in the UK in mid-September with the same initiative of helping people with hidden disabilities.
M&S informed all 80,000 staff members on what the lanyards meant and how to serve customers who wore them.
Moreover, Sainsbury’s and Argos will be hosting an Autism Hour on October 9 as part of a campaign with National Autistic Society.
This involves stores creating a calmer environment with methods including turning down the tannoy, self-checkout sounds and café music.