Gloucester celebrates Purple Tuesday to raise awareness of accessible shopping



Marketing Gloucester is working with Christian Drewitt of Accessible Gloucestershire to support the first ever ‘Purple Tuesday’ on 13 November to raise awareness about accessible shopping. Nearly one in every five people in the UK has a disability or impairment, and over half of households have a connection to someone with a disability. Their collective spending power – the Purple Pound – is worth £249 billion to the UK economy.

The aim of Purple Tuesday is to make customer-facing businesses more aware of these opportunities and challenges and inspire them to make changes to improve the disabled customer experience over the long term. Christian Drewitt, whose work on his accessible tourism website,, has been comprehensively assessing tourism and hospitality businesses, firstly in Gloucester, and now the rest of the county. Christian is spearheading the Purple Tuesday campaign in the city with support from Marketing Gloucester and Gloucester City Council. It is the logical next step for Christian to bring his insight to the retail sector and highlight how businesses can tap into the Purple Pound.

Christian has approached businesses in Gloucester City Centre to assess themselves from the perspective of people with a range of disabilities from wheelchair users, visual and hearing impaired, to difficulties with dexterity and comprehension. It is hoped that Purple Tuesday can help businesses to identify that small adjustments to their store can make a big difference to people with disabilities.

Christian Drewitt said: “Purple Tuesday is really important as it is raising awareness of the difficulties faced by those with disabilities whilst shopping. Problems can arise when it comes to accessing stores, navigating around the store, approaching till points or attracting attention of staff for assistance.


Hopefully Purple Tuesday will help raise some of these issues from the points of view of retailers and customers and help to bring the Purple Pound to the retail industry, which is worth £249bn per year to the economy.”

Jason Smith, chief executive of Marketing Gloucester, said: “It’s great to be able to support Christian again on such an important campaign for Gloucester’s retail sector. Research has shown that 75% of disabled customers have left a shop because poor access or bad service. With Christian’s help and the national attention that Purple Tuesday can bring, we hope we can help reduce this figure by highlighting how small steps can make a lot of difference to the accessibility of many of the city’s stores.”

For further information on how to get involved, please visit