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Purple Tuesday – 3rd November 2020

St John’s Shopping Centre will be supporting Purple Tuesday, the UK’s accessible shopping day which takes place on Tuesday the 3rd of November 2020.

Purple Tuesday 2020 is a change programme for organisations of all sizes from all sectors to get involved in, with the common goal of improving the customer experience for disabled people 365 days a year.

In the UK alone, the Purple Pound – the spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth a staggering £274 billion and is estimated to be rising by 14% per year, yet less than 10% of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market. This is not only a huge frustration for disabled people, but is also a huge missed opportunity for organisations who could be benefiting both socially and commercially by accessing the disability market.

Purple Tuesday is about creating a step change improvement in the awareness of the value and needs of disabled customers. It is about making the customer experience accessible. Participating organisations will make public commitments (a minimum of one new activity or initiative) to ensure sustainable changes are made. For organisations, this will result in the opening up of products and services to the disability market.

St John’s Shopping Centre’s commitment to accessible shopping includes;

Continued staff training such as an introduction to Autism in a retail environment that was delivered to all centre staff,  doubling the size of the centre Mall Plan, ground floor accessible toilets for adults and children, frequent quiet times will also be introduced to the centre during the busy Christmas Period on the back hosting the National Autistic Societies Autism Hour in October.

During the busy festive period, we will be running a number of Quiet Times to improve the shopping experience for our customers and/ or their families during the busiest shopping period of the year.

During these times we will make subtle changes in the Centre such as; turning off all the Christmas Lighting, both outside and inside the centre, turning off the music, dimming the lights and switching off the hand dryers in the public toilets. We hope that these small changes can go along way to improve the shopping experience for our autistic customers.

Last year, St John’s Shopping Centre has adopted the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme ®.  The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme was originally created to act as a discreet sign to staff and work colleagues that the wearer (or somebody who is with them) has a hidden disability and requires additional assistance. The Scheme was first launched at Gatwick Airport in May 2016. It has now been adopted in the UK by most of the major airport, supermarket and railway companies, as well as in the NHS.

The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme® is committed to helping businesses recognise customers with a hidden disability and become confident to provide them with additional help or assistance. This could simply mean giving them more time to prepare or process information, using clear verbal language or allowing them to remain with their families at all times.

St John’s Shopping Centre also has a number of lanyards available free of charge for anyone their customers, if you would like your own lanyard, simply ask a member of the customer service team within the centre.

Click here for more information on the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme.

The aim of Purple Tuesday is to make customer-facing businesses more aware of these opportunities and challenges and inspire them to make changes to improve the disabled customer experience over the long term.

For more information on Purple Tuesday, visit https://purpletuesday.org.uk/

© St John's Shopping Centre 2020

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