unveils UK’s first signing store
Sainsbury’s has unveiled the UK’s first signing store in Bath, as part of its 150 Days of Community initiative, launched as part of its anniversary celebrations.
(Author : Liz Wells)
The sign above the superstore’s door has been changed to Signsbury’s, in a move to celebrate community inclusivity and encourage all colleagues and customers to sign with one another.
More than 100 colleagues in the store took part in British Sign Language (BSL) lessons, which were supported by a colleague who is deaf, Sam Book and Rachel Shenton, the Oscar winning screenwriter.
Signsbury’s will be open for four days from the 18- 21 July and will see colleagues sign several common words and phrases when interacting with customers – from greeting them at the door, asking if they have a Nectar Card to discussing the weather.
Elsewhere in the store, screens have also been installed which demonstrate how to sign different words and phrases – including milk, trolley and bananas – with the hope to encourage customers to get involved in the initiative and walk away from store with some newly learned phrases in sign language.
In addition, children will be able to ‘Sign for a Snack’, which will see them given a free fruit snack once they have mastered how to sign basic words.
Paul Robertson, store manager at Sainsbury’s, said: “When I heard about our 150 Days of Community scheme, I thought it was the perfect time to use the opportunity to explore new ways to make our store more deaf-friendly. We have many hard of hearing customers in Bath and always want to make their experience as brilliant as possible, and we hope Signsbury’s will help better their time in store even more.”
Rachel Shenton, ambassador of National Deaf Children’s Society, added: “It’s been brilliant to see the colleagues of Sainsbury’s be so engaged in the idea and it’s a great step towards inclusivity for the deaf community. This feels like the start of something exciting and I hope it encourages more people to get involved.”