Opening the door for Purple Tuesday

We’ve all heard of Black Friday, but have you come across Purple Tuesday before?

With its inaugural day on Tuesday 13 November, Purple Tuesday is the UK’s first accessible shopping day, and has been set up by accessibility charity Purple to promote inclusive shopping and to recognise needs of disabled consumers.

As well as making sure that shopping aisles are wide and uncluttered enough to allow wheelchair access, and in-store signage is easy to see and read, Purple Tuesday is about acknowledging the needs of disabled shoppers where music and lighting are concerned.

Many shops tend to play loud music around the clock, and bright shop lighting can be particularly uncomfortable for those with sensory issues. Purple Tuesday intends to break down some of these issues for disabled consumers, helping them shop with greater ease and allowing them the same level of accessibility that the rest of the public enjoys. So you might find that shop lights are dimmed and music is lower in some stores this Tuesday.

Lendlease is supporting retailers to make the shopping experience better for people with additional needs. We’re asking our retailers to help make their shopping space more inclusive for disabled customers – these are some of the things on the cards:

  • Turning down music and other noise between certain hours
  • Dimming the store lights where possible
  • Reviewing shop layouts and the number of seats available for those with a disability
  • Sharing information and providing training to staff about accessibility issues.

At Touchwood Solihull, the shopping centre will adopt a purple theme, and is supporting the event by asking all guests to share their ideas on how to improve the shopping experience for guests with disabilities.

But it’s more than a one-day event, as Guy Thomas, Head of Retail, Lendlease, explains.

“We’re delighted to be involved with Purple Tuesday. We fully support this initiative, as it’s hugely important that that our shops and retail outlets are accessible to everybody, regardless of ability. More needs to be done in the long-term, and Purple Tuesday is a great place to start.”

“We’re asking all our retailer partners to get involved and show their support to make this day – and beyond – a great success.”

As part of its wider process of increasing diversity and inclusion across the Group, Lendlease is focused on creating accessible ‘places’, both for employees in workplace design and customers in construction design.

All Purple Tuesday participants are being asked to make at least one long-term commitment aimed at improving the experience for their disabled customers, such as introducing regular ‘quiet hours’ for those with sensory issues, improving store wayfinding, or introducing more inclusive marketing and product photography.

Customers can also support the initiative by visiting their local shopping centre or high street on the day – disabled street-theatre, dance and choir performances will be staged across the UK’s favourite retail hotspots.

Mike Adams, CEO, Purple, adds: “We’re delighted that Lendlease is supporting the Purple Tuesday campaign to promote better accessibility for disabled shoppers. This is a collaborative campaign that extends far beyond one day, and it’s vital that retail organisations come together to make shopping more pleasurable and efficient for everyone.”