Sainsbury’s store in Gosworth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has introduced a new facility for its vulnerable shoppers, called Slow Shopping.
The service operates between 1pm and 3pm on Tuesdays, when a member of Sainsbury’s staff will greet shoppers and assist them with their purchases.
Sainsbury’s staff have been given disability-awareness training over the past year, to ready them for the new service.
Two helpdesks will be manned in the store, where customers can enjoy samples of Sainsbury’s favourites, such as fruit, ginger biscuits and Victoria sponge cake.
Chairs will be set out at the end of each aisle for customers to sit and take a rest during their shop.
Katherine Vero is the founder of Slow Shopping. She developed the concept after experiencing difficulty taking her mother, who had dementia, shopping.
According to research by the Alzheimer’s Society, eight out of ten of 850,000 people suffering from dementia list shopping as their favourite pastime, yet one in four tend to give up shopping after their diagnosis.
Vero said, “My mum used to love shopping, but as her dementia developed, it became increasingly difficult and stressful for us both, but I didn’t want her to stop going out and become isolated. I wondered if there was a way to help us enjoy shopping.
“After she passed away, I was inspired to come up with the idea of Slow Shopping, and was delighted when Sainsbury’s agreed to help me trial it. I hope other retailers will follow.”
Sainsbury’s has invested 50,000 hours in training staff members in helping people with disabilities.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aoife Lawless. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.