Purple Tuesday: The UK’s First Accessible Shopping Day

#PurpleTuesday highlights the benefits of the ‘Purple Pound’ – the spending power of disabled people worth over £274 billion.

With 5,000 organisations taking part, Purple Tuesday – the UK’s first-ever accessible shopping day – is set to highlight the power of the ‘Purple Pound,’ which is estimated at £274 billion and rising by 14% per year.

Despite this, less than 10% of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market.

Backed by the Office for Disability Issues and Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, the day engages with organisations across all industries and of all sizes to promote understanding and engagement with disability and the ‘Purple Pound’, encouraging businesses into putting into place accessible practices into shops, restaurants, pubs, and clubs. The initiative encourages more inclusive customer service for all.

blue and brown tote bag

Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, said: ‘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.’

Known retailers that are taking part include:

  • Asda
  • Barclays
  • Argos
  • Marks and Spencer’s

Purple Tuesday requires the businesses taking part to commit to at least one change that will make the consumer experience better for disabled people, with comprehensive resources on their website available to help the business achieve its goals.

Asda, for example, is incorporating a new ‘Quieter hour’ between 2-3 pm from Monday to Thursday, as well as giving extra training to help serve disabled customers through the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme.

The day is also one for celebration of progress towards a more inclusive environment.

Elizabeth Wright, founder of start-up disability run business Conscious Being and Paralympian, added: ‘As a start-up magazine by and for disabled women and non-binary folk I understand the importance of Purple Tuesday, to raise awareness about disabled customers and supporting disabled-led businesses.

‘But #PurpleTuesday has to be a starting point, we have to keep this momentum going all year, to never forget that disabled people exist as an integral part of this world and deserve to be included, as well as in the economy and business.’

How can you get involved in Purple Tuesday? Join the hashtags on Twitter #ThumbsUp for #PurpleTuesday, look for any participating stores, or support a disabled-run business today.


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