Your customers are vital to the success of your business. Without consumers, your business would fail. Over 50 million Americans suffer from some type of disability. These same people could be frequenting your store, bringing revenue themselves as well as their families. There are many ways you can ensure that your retail business is user-friendly and ADA ready. Installing an ADA ramp slope, having accessible parking, leaving room for maneuvering, and making sure that Braille information is up to date, are all ways to make your retail establishment less challenging for your ADA clients.
Parking lots are the first impression people see about your store. To guarantee that everyone is safe, the pavement should be free of cracks or fall risks. All parking spots designated for those with disabilities should be clearly marked.
While the front doors of your store should always be inviting, you also need to think about accessibility. Some ways you can make your front entrance more comfortable for your ADA customers are:
- Keep all boxes, displays, and carts cleared from the entranceway.
- Any step up or down should be outfitted with an ADA ramp slope.
- If your accessible entrance is separate from the main entrance, have signs that clearly state where to go.
- Clear the sidewalk outside the store of planters, benches, trashcans or overhanging trees. Pavement here should be smooth and free from cracks or raised areas.
Inside the Store
There are many ways that the inside of your store can become an inconvenient, and even dangerous, trap. Some things you can do to ensure the safety and comfort of your ADA friends are:
- Clear walkways wide enough for wheelchair accessibility.
- Hanging items such as clothing and racks should be strategically placed. This is to provide less opportunity for an individual to hit their head or worse.
- Take care that tablecloths and long clothing are kept pushed out of the way so that they don’t become tangled in a wheelchair wheel or cause someone to stumble.
- Aisles and checkout counters should be wide and clear of boxes and merchandise that may obstruct the walkway.
- Bathrooms, fitting rooms, and elevators should be kept clean, hygiene items filled and in good working order at all times.
There is a plethora of materials and education opportunities to educate you and your staff on ways to better assist your ADA clients. You should stay up to date on all requirements and suggestions to make your store experience an enjoyable one for all of your customers.