accessible shopping
© Chudakov |

Today see’s the launch of ‘Purple Tuesday’, the UK’s first accessible shopping day, organised by the disability organisation ‘Purple’

Purple Tuesday’ is supported by the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) and Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work.

With the spending power of disabled people and their families estimated at £249 billion, ‘Purple Tuesday’ highlights the business benefits of welcoming the ‘Purple Pound’ into inclusive and accessible shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs. It is an opportunity for retailers to improve customer service for disabled people today and going forward.

Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, says: “Ensuring that disabled people are able to access shops, restaurants and clubs isn’t just the right thing to do – it makes business sense too. By failing to cater to their disabled customers, many businesses are missing out on the spending power of disabled people and are denying them the opportunity to enjoy something which many people take for granted.

“There is still time to get involved in this important initiative and I encourage businesses across the country to do just that – and reap the rewards.”

The minister’s retail sector champion, Samantha Sen, and the Retail Forum are all supporting ‘Purple Tuesday’.

Some of the retailers taking part include:

  • Argos
  • Asda
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Barclays
  • the British Retail Consortium
  • Contacta
  • Marks & Spencer

Owners of shopping destinations are also taking part, such as:

  • The Crown Estate
  • Landsec (Bluewater)
  • Revo and Hammerson (Birmingham Bullring)

Parliament’s catering and retail teams in both the House of Commons and House of Lords will also be participating in ‘Purple Tuesday’. New areas of priority accessible seating have been identified in catering venues, and the accessible retail offer will be showcased in the historic Westminster Hall. With the support of ParliAble, Parliament’s Workplace Equality Network for people with disabilities, a new non-visible disability sign has been designed and will be installed across the estate.

Supporting ‘Purple Tuesday’ fits well with ODI’s work to create a society that works for everyone, where all can participate fully by tackling barriers faced by disabled people. It builds on the work of sector champions who are raising awareness of the needs of disabled consumers and driving improvements across sectors from transport to broadcasting, and from arts to tourism so that disabled people enjoy the same consumer experience as non-disabled people.


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