February 20, 2018

Latest:

The Klondyke Group announce appointment of catering director -

Monday, February 19, 2018

Brackenburn creates renewable biofuel to burn in the home -

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Garden centre donates materials to Care Farm students -

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Best outdoor lifestyle retailer in the UK gong awarded to Gordale Garden Centre -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Stewarts Garden Centre customers thanked for £20,711 fundraising appeal total -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Plant expert to visit Perrywood Garden Centre for talks and orchid clinics -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Two added to Highfield Garden World planteria team -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Discount retailer boosts garden centre stock with Peterborough acquisition -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Residents express their shock and sadness at news Reigate Garden Centre is to close -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Grange Fencing introduces new consumer-facing brochure -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wyevale Garden Centres celebrates £1.7m fundraising success for Marie Curie -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New owner for Peterborough’s The Barn garden centre -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Reigate Garden Centre will close by October so hundreds of new homes can be built -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Deans garden centres’ fundraising helps keep air ambulance flying high -

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sycamore Park Garden Centre boss gives update on future -

Monday, February 12, 2018

Beech’s Fine Chocolates re-launches Easter egg range -

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Spring Puppy focus from JAMES WELLBELOVED® -

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

94% of retail businesses missing out on tax exempt gifts that boost staff productivity and morale -

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wildlife World celebrates 20 years in business -

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Be ‘Lawn Ready’ for spring -

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Genevieve Morris: Improving accessibility in Garden Centres

accessibility
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Modern businesses need to be accessible, both to meet consumer need and to ensure they are compliant with legal requirements. Over and above that, an accessible business is one that is able to grow its audience and boost market share by appealing to the widest possible customer base. Garden centres are not traditionally the most accessible of spaces, from often rough terrain to buildings that have multiple upper floors. However, there are some very simple ways to change this and to make adjustments that will benefit the business as a result.

Why is accessibility important?

Since the London Paralympics in 2012 there has been a much greater awareness of the challenges faced by anyone with accessibility issues. However, it’s not just a more focused public perception that is driving businesses to rethink accessibility, it’s the law too. The Equality Act 2010 introduced new provisions that are designed to give disabled people more rights. For example, it requires changes or adjustments to be made to ensure that a disabled person can access employment, education and goods and services. Reasonable adjustments are paid for by the business owner and could include entry ramps, for example, or the addition of a platform lift to create easier access between two floors.

How to improve accessibility in a garden centre

Whether you’re looking to make adjustments for disabled staff or to open your business up to the 13.3 million disabled customers in the UK, there are a number of different ways that you can do this.

Entry access – getting into a building or area can be a big issue for someone who is disabled. Even just a single step up can prevent access for someone in a wheelchair, for example. Small adjustments, such as creating an accessible side entrance, or adding a ramp to the front door, make a big difference to accessibility on arrival.

Floors and surfaces – improving accessibility throughout a garden centre once inside means looking at how hard it is to navigate surfaces that may be rough or uneven. Garden centres are not like office blocks that have smooth concrete floors all the way through. There may be gravel in outside areas or carpet or floor coverings inside that have seen better days.

Journey obstacles – if you were in a wheelchair could you navigate safely from the entrance of the garden centre, through all the sections, to the till and then back out again? It’s easy to miss the small obstacles that can disrupt a customer journey if you’re not accustomed to looking out for them. The most frequently problematic features are small steps, very tall shelving units, narrow doorways, heavy doors that don’t have a push button to operate automatically, as well as revolving doors.

Moving between floors – a flight of stairs is an impossibility for someone in a wheelchair but also presents serious difficulty for anyone with a mobility problem. Stairs can be a trip hazard but not just for those with limited mobility, children or the elderly. A 2016 survey by the BWF Stair Scheme found that 33% of us admit to having fallen down the stairs in the previous 12 months and 51% of 18-24 year olds have lost their footing on the stairs. An alternative – such as a platform lift – provides a safe and steady option for everyone. Platform lifts are simple to add, with minimal structural disruption, and take just a couple of days to install. The difference they can make to your customers’ experience, as well as your own bottom line, is immense.

These are just a few of the ways that the garden centres can be more accessible. From platform lifts and ramps, to better flooring and doors there are lots of options for creating a more disabled-friendly space.

Genevieve Morris, marketing coordinator

www.gartec.com/

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