MANY of the issues facing high street stores, from business rate demands to online competition, are well-documented. But one area that is often overlooked is the issue of accessibility.
A new survey of 2,000 adults with some form of mental or physical disability shows more than four in 10 are unable to visit their local shops because there are facing barriers preventing a comfortable shopping experience. Issues range from narrow shopping aisles and doorways to changing rooms being small and shops which have too many stairs. The challenges have been brought home in a new video created by Yorkshire Paralympian Hannah Cockroft MBE, who worked with Skipton Building Society to show just how inaccessible many shops are.
Tackling the problem undoubtedly requires action from retailers. But addressing the issue will gives them a better chance of securing the long-term future of their businesses – and high streets across the country.