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Two weeks to go: Countdown to Purple Tuesday

Retailers across the nation have just two weeks remaining to ready themselves for Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first accessible shopping day.

Tuesday 13 November 2018 will see retailers across the UK hosting dedicated events in shopping centres and on the high street to promote awareness about disabled customers, highlight the difficulties existing disabled shoppers face and measures that can be put in place to overcome them.

Since launching its initiative in August 2018, leading disability organisation Purple, endorsed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has secured more than 500 sign-ups from established and up-and-coming retail organisations keen to secure their share of the Purple Pound - worth an estimated £249 billion.

High-profile retailers such as Argos, Asda, Barclays, M&S and Sainsbury’s, plus retail property owners including Hammerson and Landsec, have committed to demonstrate to employees and customers how to make shopping an easier and more pleasurable experience for disabled consumers.

Purple Tuesday is a call-to-action for retail businesses to make shopping more accessible for disabled customers - not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good for business. Securing custom from the estimated 12 million disabled people living in the UK makes commercial sense. Shoppers are also encouraged to show their support, by visiting their local shopping centre or high street on the day.

Exciting plans are underway amongst some of Britain’s leading retailers - chain and independent, large and small - for celebrating the awareness day. Disabled street-theatre, dance and choir performances, and more, are set to be staged across the UK’s favourite shopping hotspots. The initiative also enjoys support from Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, who will attend the purple lighting-up of key London landmarks on the day.

Beyond the 13th November awareness day, Purple will work alongside organisations to support implementation of commitments made, including customer service training and providing support to increase accessibility of websites and other online technology. Wider support includes physical access audits, improved signage and increasing the involvement of disabled mystery shoppers.

Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, says: “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.”

Mike Adams, CEO, Purple, says: “Purple Tuesday is just the start. The timing is perfect as the busy Christmas shopping period begins, and both retailers and disabled shoppers are set to benefit during the festive season. However, our awareness drive, and steps taken by retail partners, must continue over the next 365 days and beyond. Our aim in creating this national day of purple events is to encourage retailers to achieve accessibility for disabled people, and empower consumers so they feel confident to shop anywhere.”

Samantha Sen, Head of Policy & Campaigns at Revo and Retail Sector Champion at DWP, says: “Ensuring high street, shopping centre and e-commerce outlets are accessible to everyone is paramount for growth across every part of the retail sector. By having a nationwide, collaborative campaign such as Purple Tuesday, retail organisations are demonstrating their clear commitment to changing the way they do business, to make shopping more pleasurable and efficient for everyone - particularly disabled customers. Revo is extremely proud to be part of this movement.”

Purple Tuesday launch partners include:

  • Argos

  • Asda

  • Barclays

  • British Property Federation

  • British Retail Consortium

  • Contacta

  • Hammerson

  • Home Retail Group

  • Intu

  • Landsec

  • Marks & Spencer

  • Purple

  • Revo

  • Sainsbury’s

  • The Crown Estate

Resources for organisations and individuals wishing to get involved with Purple Tuesday are available for download at

Digital Marketing Executive