Postive shopping experiences

I am interested in what makes or breaks visits to the shops. Having gained planning permission the company I work for is building a new shop. I wish to put forward experiences so that the new building is not only accessible for all but goes further and makes shopping a pleasure. We already offer the old fashioned service, greeting customers, regulars by their name, have goods ready for collection if they phone ahead, accompanying older or less mobile people around the shop and collecting their shopping and taking it to the car etc. but others wish to negotiate the shop themselves which as it currently stands is difficult. The new premises will be a blank canvas so over to you - all suggestions welcome. I so want the bosses to get it right first time.

A toilet lol. Sorry but so many shops don’t have them and you have to leave and hunt one down then cant be bothered going back to the shop. I remember this from days with toddlers and now urge incontinence Ax

I’m a wheelchair user and often have great difficulties - turning around aisles (not enough space to maneouvre), reaching things on shelves, self service areas that are difficult to access, inappropriately places kerbs etc in the car park. The best experience is to get someone to write a shopping list for you then try and shop for those items in a wheelchair - no cheating ;). Good things to try are basics (bread and milk) that stores position so you have to go around the entire store to buy them- in the hope you’ll buy something else en route! Btw its brilliant that you are taking the time to try to make life easier for those with mobility issues and that your company is taking on board your suggestions - Ty! As an aside nothing to do with shop layout but one thing that drives me nuts is staff that talk over my head to hubby as though I’m somehow mentally incapacitated just because I’m in a chair!

Thanks. I was thinking that perhaps we should have a member of staff responsible for training other members of staff and a named person for those wanting assistance whilst shopping. I thought of making staff actually sit in a wheelchair and give them a shopping list and see how they get on - absolutely no cheating promise Katalina and I will ensure staff never fail to engage with the person using the wheelchair. Been an uphill struggle with young staff who are scared of anything they do not experience regularly - sad that they leave school so under prepared for real life. We will have an allocated wheelchair friendly toilet although I am yet to be convinced the size is big enough to turn a chair easily but we will see. There are no kerbs at all in the carpark/walkways - painted designated areas for pedestrians/cars etc. Doors will be double, electric automatic ones. I want to see drop down centre to the counterspace so that customers in chairs can actually place their items for payment without having to stretch or struggle to be seen. All suggestions welcome please get thinking caps on.

Oh now you simply MUST install what is called a Changing Places Accessible toilet.

I discovered the existance of these wonderful facilities, earlier this year.

Infact i did do a bit of campainging for them, as they are so good.

I have used these in Blackpool, Leeds, Huddersfield, and Halifax. Myself, my carers and my hubby were really inpressed by them.

The best bit about them is that they have hoists. Disabled people can enjoy their day out much, much more than ever before, if they use them.

If youd like to know more, please google Changing Places toilets.

luv Pollx

Those shopping baskets they have in Wilkinson’s are excellent. They can be carried or the longer handle used to tow or push the basket. I cannot get to our local Wilco too easily but that’s another story!

I have discovered just using a stick that if I’m carrying just one thing, I’m stuck!

Supermarkets ironically are better, whilst there’s more ground to cover I can walk a bit further just leaning on the trolley, the little trolleys are even better as not too heavy to push but stable enough to prop me up when pushing and I can drag my feet if I need to.

Hope that’s of some help :slight_smile:

Sonia x

Sometimes the aisles are wide enough and there’s plenty of room for turning etc but then special offers or promotions in baskets and stands are placed in the aisles and on corners - immediately the well laid out shop becomes awkward to move around in.


Thanks everyone. As the shop is a new build I hope the bosses get it right first time. Went to work really early to see the boss before anyone else in and put forward all the suggestions. He seemed interested and took on board what all you lovely people have taken time to write about. Fingers crossed and thanks again for taking the time to let me know your experiences. Will keep you all updated as the build progresses.