Ok, long story short. In June 2018 I complained to Superdrug as I had many accessibility issues in one of their stores.
- Shopping baskets stacked each side of the entrance doorway, making entry width smaller. They were stacked too high for a wheelchair user to reach up.
- Promotional stands that made the makeshift gangway to the tills was very narrow. I nearly knocked them over. Promotional stands in front of the tills made reaching up and over to the card machine impossible.
- No lowered counter available so had difficulty using the card machine.
I heard back from their Customer Service Manager who arranged to come and meet with me at the store in question. I explained and physically showed him the kind of issues disabled people may face and the issues I personally found with the store. I felt the meeting went well as in a comment he supplied for this website, he said: ” Since our meeting, we’ve been looking at the positive changes that can be made to ensure that the shopping experience is as accessible as possible for all of our customers“. Hmm not to be the case!
I’ve been to this store many times as I live nearby. I have noticed a great improvement in staff attitude. Everyone is friendly and more than happy to help you with whatever you need help with.
Very recently, they have had a new perfume section added next to where their tills are situated. This includes a brand new counter! Guess what? It is the same height as all the other counters. That’s right, a company who claims to have been looking at the positive changes that can be made to ensure that the shopping experience is as accessible as possible for all of their customers, obviously haven’t been looking hard enough!!
From a wheelchair, the tills are still too high for people like myself who have difficulties in reaching up. Not only that, people forget, many of us have armrests on the side of our chairs which prevent us from getting as close as possible to the tills (side on). The plus side, no promotional stand in the way (at present).
You can also see again how high the shopping baskets are stacked, they are higher than the till. There are 30 baskets situated on both sides of the entrance, (yes I counted). That makes 60 in total. It really isn’t necessary to have that many, it’s not like it’s Black Friday!! A little old lady walked in just ahead of me and I noticed she found it difficult to get a basket out also.
I have been in communication with Superdrug regarding the above issues for the past month. I am pleased to tell you all that I received an email this week informing me that Superdrug has builders booked to make the necessary changes to the tills and queuing system. This is absolutely wonderful news.
It is lovely to communicate with a company that will take on board the issues raised to them and actually make the effort to make changes. There are many, many other companies that should take a leaf out of Superdrug’s book!!!
Thank you Superdrug.
Scrap what I said above!!! This is the lowered counter they saw fit to install:
As you can see, this is far from an adequate or properly thought out solution:
- The store manager didn’t know how to open it up. Showing no training!!
- You can see there is no room to position your wheelchair alongside the shelf due to the product stand on the left.
- By far the worst aspect – The fact it is at the end of the counters around the corner out of sight. No customer would ever know it was available for use? Again showing we are an afterthought!!
I have been banging my head against a brick wall with Superdrug over this matter for quite some time now. I think I must admit defeat as Superdrug have made it perfectly clear they have no intentions of making their stores fully accessible for all!!! Which is such a shame as their manager talked the talked very well and gave me some hope!