Call for more disability-friendly shopping times

More than half of disabled customers say that they were worried about overcrowding on the high street on the run up to Christmas, according to research by disability-focused social enterprise Purple.

Disabled people have a spending power of more the £250 billion, also known as the ‘Purple Pound’. This makes them valuable consumers – yet stores aren’t always geared up for their needs. More than a third of disabled people say they were will spending at least £100 on gifts this Christmas, but according to Purple’s research, retailers still have work to do to help them part with their cash.

A huge 54% said that a poor shopping experience has led them to leave a store or abandon a purchase. Overcrowding is the main concern, as well as access and poor customer service.

Disabled shoppers say that, despite the rise in online, a positive experience in store is still important – just 17% make most of the purchases online, while 34% will do the majority on the high street.

Purple CEO Mike Adams said: “Many people find Christmas shopping can be stressful, but the seasonal rush can be particularly daunting for disabled people. We have already seen a number of retailers introduce ‘quiet hours’ for autistic customers, so we’d like to see more initiatives like this so that disabled people can feel welcome on the high street.”

Purple launched the Help Me Spend My Money campaign to raise awareness of the importance of disability-friendly customer service. They are calling on retailers to join the campaign and make shopping accessible for all. You can find out more about the campaign at

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