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Businesses failing to cater for disabled customers

17th March 2015

Recent research has revealed that businesses are losing up to £1.8 billion a month by not catering for disabled customers, which was done by calculating the cost of the ‘walk away pound’. Similarly, it has been suggested that the ‘purple pound’, which refers to the spending power of disabled people, is worth more than £200 billion to the UK economy.

Currently, the majority of businesses are missing out on this potential income, as they are not suitably adapted to the needs of disabled customers. However, it is hoped these figures will encourage all retailers to begin considering the needs of disabled and mobility restricted customers and provide the kind of service that we provide to all those who purchase stairlifts, rise and recline chairs, and baths from us.

A market which is largely being ignored

Also, recently more than 75 per cent of disabled people surveyed by the Extra Costs Commission stated that they had left a shop because it failed to meet their needs, and felt that the majority of high street stores are not accessible. Improving accessibility is becoming more and more important due to the growth of the ageing population and changing technologies, yet businesses appear to be slow on the uptake.

However, this cannot be said for all retailers, as companies such as Barclays Bank, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Sainsbury’s, and BT are leading the way in inclusive design and are improving the customer experience for disabled and older people. Due to this, many people tend to stick to certain brands in particular, returning again and again, meaning that spend from a disabled customer can be very reliable for businesses. Therefore, many shops and retailers could benefit from adapting their stores to cater for disabled and older customers, so that they can benefit from the powerful force of the purple pound, and customers can benefit from having something many see as a problem addressed.

Image Credit: Karen Roe (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.