With more people living longer due to advances in medical technology and healthier lifestyles, your business may see an increase in elderly customers, some of whom will likely have mobility issues. In addition, a significant percentage of the general population is classified as disabled, so you should expect customers with various levels of mobility issues in your store. Depending on the target customer base for your business this can be a primary concern. Making sure your setup will accommodate all customers who want to patronize your business is a great way to support your local community and build goodwill.
Set Up Retail Shelving for Easy Access
In a retail store, how the shelving is organized can have a major impact on how easy it is for a customer with mobility issues to get around. Parallel aisles with wide end spaces are a great way to layout your store. Not only will this make it easier for customers in wheelchairs or mobility scooters to shop up and down the aisles, but it also helps customers quickly find what they are looking for. Be sure to also have prominent displays offering assistance from your staff to retrieve items from high shelves for customers who need assistance with this.
Check Your Entry Door Width
For customers to shop in your store, they first need to enter your store. That means they will need to get through your entry doorway regardless of whether they’re walking on 2 legs, with a cane or walker, in a wheelchair or in a mobility scooter. If you ensure your doorway is wide enough for a common mobility scooter, such as the Invacare Leo 4-Wheel Scooter, it should be wide enough for virtually any customer’s needs.
Ensure Restrooms Are Handicap Friendly
For most businesses, complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act can be very important for avoiding fines levied against your business, and restroom access can be a big part of it. Ensuring your restrooms are appropriately sized and contain elements such has handicap railings will help to ensure compliance with the ADA.
Comply With Handicap Parking Regulations
Check with your local business licensing body for regulations on handicap parking stall requirements for your business to make sure you are in compliance. Providing handicap parking access as close as possible to your business entrance will be appreciated by any customers with mobility issues.
Ensuring your retail business is friendly to handicapped customers is a great way to provide customer service and generate happy customers.