Black Friday - Business Disability Forum calls for greater accessibility for disabled bargain hunters as Christmas shopping period begins

23 November 2018

As Black Friday kicks off another busy pre-Christmas sales season today (23 November), a leading business and disability membership organisation is offering new advice to retailers on how to best meet the in-store needs of disabled shoppers. 

The 12 Ways to an Accessible Christmas is a quick guide for retailers looking to improve the in-store customer experience for disabled shoppers in the run up to the festive period.

Alongside the tips, Business Disability Forum is also releasing a short film to show the day-to-day realities of shopping with a disability. The film follows the shopping experiences of two disabled customers, Fazilet and Kerry, and explores their preferences and needs around shopping.

The film, entitled ‘Shopping with a disability: Kerry and Fazilet’s experience’ is being released today to coincide with Black Friday. Made with the support of Business Disability Forum Partner Sainsbury’s, it sets out how supermarkets can make shopping experiences smooth and enjoyable for customers with different types of disabilities.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said:

“With 1 in 5 customers likely to have a disability, it is vital that retailers are aware of the needs of disabled customers and how best to meet them. Not all disabilities are visible and shoppers may not necessarily identify themselves as having a disability or long-term condition. Therefore, customer service staff need to be ready to spot when a customer needs assistance, and prepared to do things differently, in order to deliver the same level of service.

“Meeting the needs of disabled shoppers also makes good business sense. The annual spending power of disabled shoppers in the UK is £249 billion and rising. Disabled shoppers want to be able to access shops and goods in the same way as non-disabled customers. Some people prefer to shop online, but this must be out of choice, and not because of any barriers around in-store shopping. As our film shows, being able to touch or feel a product can be very important, particularly if you are blind or have sight loss. Alongside this, shopping can be a social event and an opportunity for a day out with a friend.”

Read The Twelve Ways to an Accessible Christmas from Business Disability Forum’s website.

Watch ‘Shopping with a disability: Kerry and Fazilet’s experience’ film:


With captions and audio description:


With captions, no audio description:


These resources form part of Business Disability Forum’s ‘Going Places’ campaign which aims to break down the barriers that disabled people face in their day-to-day lives, from accessing employment through to travelling on public transport and making purchases.