one businessman and wheelchair user has turned his frustrations into a national event – Purple Tuesday – in a bid to get hundreds of retailers to improve their customer experience and tap into the £249bn disabled customers spend each year.
For Holly Greader, from Cardiff, going shopping is like “tackling an obstacle course”.
Like many other 21-year-olds she’s interested in fashion with a keen eye for a bargain, but as a wheelchair user she’s often left frustrated by the barriers she faces on her local high street.
“I’ve got money that I want to spend, but, due to the fact I can’t even get into some shops with steps, they miss out on my cash,” she says.
Once she’s in a shop, she often finds accessible changing rooms are filled with stock, tills are out of her reach, and many retailers are simply unaware of the needs of her and other disabled customers.
“If staff thought a bit more about my needs and saw me as a proper person rather than a problem to deal with then I think that would make shopping a lot better for me,” she says.
It’s a frustration felt by many and it translates into hard cash.
According to the Department of Work and Pensions, of the estimated £249bn disabled people spend each year – the so-called Purple Pound – it is believed only about 10% of that is being realised by retailers.