10 March 2017
Today Marks & Spencer has become the first retailer to share DisabledGo “Access Guides” containing detailed information on its stores’ accessibility for disabled people and carers.
From lighting levels, to the number of accessible car parking spaces, to the provision of hearing loops – the guides are available for customers at the touch of a button on the M&S.com Store Locator.
The M&S DisabledGo Access Guides are the result of a 50 strong team of DisabledGo experts visiting hundreds of stores in towns up and down the country. They analysed the stores’ accessibility and took images for M&S’ 590 owned stores.
The guides are designed to help the UK’s 12 million disabled people to shop on high streets, in shopping centres and at retail parks. With every owned M&S store now listed, enjoying a coffee in the café with friends, purchasing a new suit or picking up a Friday night Dine In is now easier for anyone who may have an access requirement.
DisabledGo speaks to thousands of disabled people and carers when putting their guides together to ensure they provide the right information. The social enterprise helps people with a range of conditions – from visual impairments, to autism, to wheelchair users. The guides are also designed to help others with access needs, such as parents with prams or those with mobility problems. A simple but effective resource, the guides and their prominence on M&S’s website are part of the retailer’s commitment to being the most accessible retailer on the High Street.
Gregory Burke, Founder of DisabledGo said, “M&S has some of the most accessible shops on the high street, but we know that disabled people don’t always know what this will mean for them when they visit their local store. We already have one million people using our guides and we’re excited that by working with partners like M&S we can grow the number of people the guides are helping. The spending power of disabled people rose to £249bn and it’s exciting to see one of the UK’s biggest retailers acknowledge the rise and the power of the purple pound.”
Sacha Berendji, Retail Director at M&S said, At M&S we put the customer at the heart of everything we do and our stores being accessible for everyone is extremely important to us. We have a proud heritage of doing the right thing for our customers and it’s an area we want to continue to lead the market on by listening to our customers and responding to their needs.”
The guides are now live on M&S Store Locator and can be viewed here.
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