Sainsbury's stores in Hertfordshire are part of a trial of support to enhance the shopping experience of customers with a hidden disability such as dementia, autism or a visual or hearing impairment.
The initiative started in 13 of the supermarket chain's Hertfordshire stores in February 2019 and it offers shoppers the option to pick up a sunflower lanyard, which has been purposely designed to act as a discreet sign for staff to recognise if they may need to provide a customer with additional support when in store.
In addition, Sainsbury’s staff will provide extra support such as opening a new checkout lane, assisting with finding shopping items or giving customers more time at the checkout.
The Lanyards will be available to collect for free and are for each customer to keep so they can wear it every time they go into store.
The Hertfordshire Sainsbury’s branches involved in the trial are:
• Bishop’s Stortford;
• Borehamwood Shenley Road Local;
• Broxbourne High Road Local;
• Buntingford High Street Local;
• London Colney;
• Potters Bar;
• Stevenage Coreys Mill;
• Thorley, Bishop’s Stortford;
• Waltham Cross;
• Ware Star Street Local; and
• Welwyn Garden City.
Tim Fallowfield, Company Secretary and Corporate Services Director for Sainsbury’s, said: “We understand that a busy supermarket environment can present challenges for some of our customers. This initiative is just one of the steps we are taking to give our customers the best possible experience when shopping. We are working with our colleagues to ensure that they are fully equipped to provide assistance to those who need it.”
A customer said: “I must say, it’s a great idea. I didn't want to wear the lanyard, but my husband encouraged me to. I found the lanyard gave me confidence as I knew people would help me. I'm partially sighted and have early onset dementia, so for me the lanyard is brilliant."