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Large UK clothing retailer



Changing staff attitudes with a major UK retailer

As a large British clothing retailer with over 500 outlets in the UK, the provision of accessible facilities that cater for the needs of people with disabilities is essential. However, a fully accessible outlet is of little use if the people employed by your organisation lack an inclusive mind-set.

This particular UK retailer discovered this when a customer with a disability attempted to use the accessible changing room, only to discover that it was temporarily out of use as it was being used as a makeshift stock room. When the customer approached the store manager requesting that the space be cleared, the manager refused.

The customer then approached head office to complain, before sharing their experience online. It wasn’t long before the person’s posts gained public interest and within days, the story was widely covered by several national newspapers and consequently the brand was negatively impacted.

 Seeking expertise

Following the incident, the local branch of the UK retailer decided to seek expert advice and contacted Chris Jay with a request to roll out a tailored disability awareness training programme for all staff in the store and for the manager involved in the incident.

Chris Jay visited the outlet and provided training based on interactive bespoke modules and workshops for the staff, which focused specifically on improving their customer service. The programme, which took place on the premises, covered many issues including correct use of language, etiquette with a strong focus on communication.

Enhancing empathy and understanding

The content of the training programme was tailored to improve staff understanding of disability, whilst enhancing the empathy of the workforce, enabling the retailer to offer a more inclusive service.

Following completion of the workplace awareness training, the team that experienced the training were better equipped to provide an inclusive service having developed a stronger sense of awareness and understanding of the various forms of disability their customers may have.