Published 22 August 2011
New service launches for disabled shoppers
A NEW service to keep disabled shoppers on the move has launched at The Trafford Centre.
The Centre has teamed up with leading disability specialists UKS Mobility, who are to take over the provision of wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs and disability scooters from a dedicated store on Peel Avenue.
The family-run business already supply the NHS, Age Concern and Manchester City Council with their expertise in mobility aids and other disability products, which will also be on sale in the new shop.
Gordon McKinnon, director of operations at The Trafford Centre, said: “Disability should never prevent anyone from enjoying the great facilities we have here at The Trafford Centre, and we have built it into the very fabric of the building to be an easy place to shop in a wheelchair.
“This improved service, which replaces our old Shopmobility scheme, will offer better equipment, more advice and a wider range of products than we have ever done before.
”We're particularly pleased that this service will be provided for us by a local operator, with whom we have been very impressed indeed."
The store will bring seven new full-time jobs to the Centre, and is estimated will serve thousands of shoppers in it’s first year of trade."
“Years of experience”
Store manager Martin Sutton from the Altrincham-based UKS Mobility Ltd, said: “Customers will be able to pre-book a wheelchair for their shopping trip, and take advantage of our advisory service, which has been honed through years of experience in the business.
“We share a can-do attitude with The Trafford Centre, and like them we believe that superlative customer service is the key to success. We can’t wait to show the regular disabled customers at the Centre what we have for them!”
As well as scooters and wheelchairs, the store will provide a full range of disability aids, from bottle openers to pour alarms for making a safe cup of tea.
Membership of the service costs just £25 per year, and for that shoppers will be guaranteed access to wheelchairs and scooters when they book.
And for shoppers who don’t regularly use the Centre, it will be possible to hire equipment on the day, starting at a £3 hourly rate for scooters.
An estimated 10% of the working population of the UK are registered disabled. Sales of disabled equipment in the UK have increased by 92.6% over the last 10 years and the total market size increased by 9.2% last year.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
• The Trafford Centre won the Manchester Tourism Award “Access for All” category in 2009, for its commitment to disabled access to facilities.
• The Trafford Centre is 5 TIMES winner of the Loo of the Year Award in the Disabled Facilities category.