Sainsbury’s and Argos have announced the nationwide rollout of sunflower design lanyards in all its stores, to help enhance the shopping experience for customers with hidden disabilities such as autism, dementia, visual or hearing impairment and anxiety.
Following a successful trial earlier this year, the initiative offers shoppers the option to pick up in-store a sunflower lanyard, which has been designed to act as a discreet sign to staff that they may need to provide additional support such assistance with finding shopping items or more time at the checkout. The lanyards are free and can be kept, so customers can use them every time they visit.
The sunflower design is now recognised by several organisations across the UK and was initially adopted by Gatwick Airport, whom Sainsbury’s worked closely with throughout the trial. Using the same design means customers have the option to use their lanyards in shops across the UK, in the knowledge that store staff will recognise what it stands for.
Tim Fallowfield, board sponsor for Disability Carers and Age at Sainsbury’s, said: “As we work towards our vision of being the UK’s most inclusive retailer, we’re proud to offer sunflower lanyards in all stores. Not all disabilities are visible, and it’s clear that a subtle signal can make a big difference in providing confidence and reassurance. Together with our colleagues, we hope to give all our customers the best possible experience when shopping, while working with the wider industry to raise awareness.”
Sainsbury’s and Argos also hosted an Autism Hour on Wednesday (October 9) in support of the National Autistic Society. This involved stores creating a calmer environment by, for example, turning down the tannoy, self-checkout sounds and café music.
PHOTO CREDIT: DANNY LOO/WELWYN HATFIELD TIMES