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UK economy could see £1bn boost every month if retail made more accessible for disabled shoppers

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As high streets begin to recover from the pandemic, accessibility and disability data organisation Handiscover is demanding that shopping centres are made more accessible for disabled shoppers.

This comes after a survey that revealed that nearly two thirds (64%) of disabled respondents have been prevented from visiting a shopping centre due to its lack of accessibility.

Handiscover reports that more than 14 Million people in the UK live with a long term illness or disability requiring specific accessibility needs, which emphasises the need for improved accessibility.

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It claimed that if widespread improvements were made across the retail industry the UK economy could benefit by up to 25%, or almost £1 Billion per month.

Handiscover has now released its ‘Accessibility Standard for Shopping Centres and Malls’ document, which it offers for free.

It also has a programme for use by individual businesses looking to improve their accessibility.

Magnus Berglund, accessibility director at Handiscover, said: “Now that retail is starting to reopen across Europe, the industry has a huge opportunity to start catering for all customers by improving accessibility and how they communicate that level of accessibility before a consumer visits.

“With more and more retail spaces opening their doors once again post-COVID, even small changes to accessibility can radically increase customer satisfaction and growth.”

Meanwhile, Sebastien Archambeaud, CEO of Handiscover, added: “With roughly 25% people in Europe suffering from some form of disability, be that visible or non-visible, and with disabled consumers accounting for a potential market value of £249 billion per annum, it is easy to see why a renewed focus on accessibility for the retail sector is needed – both from an ethical and a commercial standpoint.”.

Tags : Handiscoverretail
Sam Lewis

The author Sam Lewis

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