Trained personal shoppers for the blind available at Debenhams
BY STYLE EDITOR, ON 25 NOV 2011 14:51 DEBENHAMS NEWSCOMMENTS
We thought our customers would be keen to know that Debenhams has become the first major retailer on the British high street to offer a tailored shopping service for blind and partially sighted customers. This service will be available in 167 stores across the UK and Ireland.
In developing the service, we’ve worked closely with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to identify the main obstacles faced by both the customer and personal shopper while trying to shop in store. Customers highlighted time, brand and social and physical barriers as obstacles, and for the personal shoppers it was the difficultly in broaching the subject of sight loss with the customer, and how to describe the key features of the garment.
In light of this, Debenhams personal shoppers have undergone special training on the experience of a blind or partially sighted customer, using glasses which imitate various levels of sight loss that include; cataracts and macular degeneration. Our personal shoppers have also been carefully trained in how to effectively explain the touch and feel of sequins and embellishment, how to describe heel height and style, the difference in look, touch and function of different fastening methods and how to communicate sensitively to the customer.
We are passionate about diversity at Debenhams, and wanted to create something inclusive yet fabulous. The service acts to make shopping an accessible and enjoyable experience for every single person that comes into our stores. We hope it makes a real difference.
What do you think of this new service? Do you know someone who is partially sighted and struggled with shopping in the past? Join the conversation and leave a comment below…