There are about 7 million working-age adults in the UK with a physical impairment, and their purchasing power is sometimes referred to as the ‘purple’ pound. The estimated value of the purple pound is approximately £249 billion per year. This is a significant proportion of the UK’s total economy.
While large shopping centres usually offer ease of access, many smaller outlets might not offer the facilities to support those with a physical disability. This can be a significant loss of revenue for retail businesses, especially for small businesses.
So, small businesses need to look for ways to encourage the purple pound to be spent in their stores. Here are suggestions on changes you could make to encourage those with a physical impairment to spend more time in your store.
- Open Spaces
One of the greatest challenges for those with a disability is a lack of manoeuvring space, often due to small aisles. By widening aisles, or reducing stands placed in an aisle, you can provide customers with the space they need. It can also help other customers who find tight spaces uncomfortable.
If you are worried about a lack of space for floor stock, limit the amount on the shop floor and restock shelves more regularly.
If you have steps up to your store or any part of it, consider replacing them with a ramp. This enables access for those in wheelchairs or for those who struggle to walk. There are different types of ramps, so there is bound to be one within your budget.
- Train Your Staff To Help
Your staff should be trained to aid anyone who comes in the store. The important thing to remember is that the majority of people who are disabled have a hidden disability. Good training and mentality can be a benefit to your store, and if treated with respect, any customer is bound to spread the word, helping you to market your business too.
- Accessible Parking Spaces
Another thing to consider is how the purple pound will get to your store. A reserved disabled parking space near the store entrance can help those with a disability to park close by and shop with you.
The value of the purple pound is significant to UK businesses so they must look for ways to attract those with a disability by offering them the facilities they need to shop, but at the same time being careful to make them feel that they aren’t a burden. It’s a delicate balance to achieve – but well worth the effort.