Debenhams introduces shopping service for the blindTuesday, 22 November 2011
The chains has taken these obstacles and trained its personal shoppers on the experience the customer feels, using glasses which imitate various levels of sight loss that include; cataracts and macular degeneration. As well as training them in methods such as how to 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 effectively to the customer.
The innovative service comes as a result of the subject being thrust into the media by hit TV show, How to Look Good Naked, which featured blind Di Cram undergo a style makeover with stylist Gok Wan back in 2010.
“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,” said Soleta Oliver, Debenhams Commercial Manager for Store Services. “Working with RNIB together with blind and partially sighted consumers has been invaluable. They have been instrumental in this service, and have contributed to the shape and style of how the appointments will run.”
Lesley-Anne Alexander, Chief Executive of RNIB added, “Our own research shows that 76% of blind and partially sighted people find shopping to be difficult or impossible, so clearly there is a desperate need for this service. We’re delighted that Debenhams is the first retailer to offer a service for blind and partially sighted shoppers, and hope that this urges other retailers to follow suit.”
The service is now available in all 167 Debenhams stores across the UK and Ireland.