Shopping is part of everyday life. Whether we are food shopping in a local supermarket, picking up essentials like clothes from an out of town mall, or wandering around a farmer’s market, we all participate in one way or another.

And that is the same for people with disabilities. The Purple Pound (the spending power of disabled people and their families), is worth a staggering £274 billion, and is estimated to be rising by 14% per year*.

It is Purple Tuesday on 2nd November, the day of the year when we focus on improving customer experience for disabled people.

This year, two prominent retailers, Boots and Sainsbury’s, have been named as partners of Purple Tuesday – committing to raise awareness and influence positive change in their sector.

Steps have been made to improve the experience for disabled shoppers over recent years. Retailers are focussing on making their products more inclusive, such as ‘easy dress’ clothing for children with additional needs. Progress is being made, but there is still a great deal of work to do, and there is still a lack of Changing Places toilet facilities within retail venues, restricting ¼ of a million people in the UK from shopping with confidence.

Some retailers are leading the way in this regard. In March this year, Tesco ran a marketing campaign, celebrating the achievements of their three-year-long project in collaboration with Aveso, installing 100 Changing Places toilets in their stores around the country.

They continue to install the accessible toilets using equipment supplied by Aveso’s partner, the UK manufacturer Astor Bannerman.

Astor Bannerman have also been installing toilets for other major supermarket brands, including Asda and Sainsbury’s, helping to ensure that as many disabled shoppers as possible have access to a Changing Places toilet.

It is not just in the Supermarket sector where positive progress is being made. Community markets are also taking steps to make their retail environment as accessible as possible. Just in the last few months, Southport and Widnes markets both installed a Changing Places Toilet for their customers. Some shopping malls are also including Changing Places toilets, as well as installing other features such as quiet rooms, as part of a drive to increase accessibility.

With the incoming £30m of Government funding for Changing Places toilets, and the new legislation requiring accessible toilets in large, new (or redeveloped) public buildings, the hope is that more and more of those businesses, groups and councils involved in retail will provide these vital facilities over the next few years.

*From Purple Tuesday



The team at Aveso are passionate about Changing Places toilets. We have supported the official Changing Places campaign since 2013, and can provide free, expert advice on all aspects of the Changing Places planning and design process.


Astor Bannerman offer the full range of products specified by Changing Places regulations, including fixed and mobile changing tables, hoists, height adjustable washbasins, toilets and accessories. They are always developing new products, and are proud to have developed the Astor Invincible, the first changing table designed specifically for Changing Places toilets.