Over 13 million people in the UK, one-fifth of the population, live with a disability and households with a disabled person spend a combined £249 billion a year. But many businesses could do more to provide for disabled customers, according to the organisers of Purple Tuesday.
Purple Tuesday is an international call to action which will take which place on 12th November 2019. Created and coordinated by disability organisation Purple, it celebrates the power of the ‘purple pound’ and asks businesses to make a commitment to improving their offer to disabled people. Businesses that register for Purple Tuesday will benefit from free resources from Purple on topics such as website accessibility and customer service training.
Last year over 750 organisations participated, including retail giants Asda, M&S and Sainsbury’s. This year, Purple Tuesday will engage with organisations across multiple sectors on an international level.
Geraldine El Masrour, Centre Manager of Motherwell Shopping Centre, worked with Purple to prepare the centre for Purple Tuesday and saw first-hand the impact of the day on her staff and customers:
Following Purple Tuesday, one of our Security Officers put his dementia training into action to support a shopper, who had previously been seen as disruptive, to make a purchase. The customer was so happy he cried.”
Geraldine, who has since been nominated as Centre Manager of the Year for the SCEPTRE Awards, says: “I’m sure that working with Purple and taking part in Purple Tuesday has helped me to be shortlisted and I’m looking forward to making continued improvements to our services for disabled people as we build up to Purple Tuesday 2019.”
Make Purple Tuesday every day
Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple Tuesday said: “Meeting the needs of disabled customers makes commercial sense for businesses of all sizes, from all sectors.
“Purple Tuesday is a milestone moment, but the issue is relevant 365 days a year. From retail to restaurants, tourism to insurance, we’re calling on businesses across all sectors to back Purple Tuesday and commit to changing the customer experience for disabled people for good.”
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “A day out for disabled customers should be an enjoyable experience to share with family and friends, but for so many, it can be such a hassle that they end up staying at home instead.
“That is a terrible shame, not only for the UK’s 13 million disabled people but for Britain’s businesses who are missing out on the huge spending power of these valuable customers. It’s also not acceptable in this day and age.
“I want businesses across the country to get involved with this year’s Purple Tuesday and open their doors to disabled customers – not just on this day but all year round.”
Disabled people tend to be more brand loyal than the average consumer, yet less than 10% of businesses worldwide currently include disabled customers in their marketing plans. By failing to meet the needs of disabled people, businesses could be missing out on a share of £2 billion a month.
As well as providing free resources for Purple Tuesday participants, Purple provides tailored accessibility consulting and support to businesses through paid Purple Memberships and Partnerships.
Purple Members receive benefits including website accessibility diagnosis with recommendations which are free or low cost to implement, as well as consultations with Purple and support through the Government accredited Disability Confident programme.
A Purple Partnership is designed for organisations with experience of disability issues who want to benefit from longer-term consultancy to address employee, consumer and supply chain related issues. Both Members and Partners receive discounts on Purple’s additional training and auditing services.
To register for Purple Tuesday and join organisations across the globe in changing the customer experience for disabled people, visit https://purpletuesday.org.uk/.
>See also: Valuable: How one woman’s campaign for inclusion can change the way we do business