Sainsbury's has renamed one of its stores "Signsbury's" to support the hard-of-hearing as part of its 150 Days of Community initiative.
Staff at the Bath superstore have been trained on how to use key words and phrases in British Sign Language by local school I Can Sign, with support from deaf employee Sam Book and Oscar-winning actor Rachel Shenton, who signed her 2018 acceptance speech. More than 100 Sainsbury's staff have received sign-language lessons.
From today until Sunday (18-21 July), the store will bear the new name and be decked out with visual guides and smart technology, including dynamic video screens to help customers sign with Sainsbury's colleagues for words such as "milk", "trolley" and "bananas". Children can learn to sign to receive a free fruit snack.
Meanwhile, Sainsbury's has shared a video demonstrating how to sign with staff across the UK.
The initiative was devised by Gravity Road and executed in conjunction with PR agency Hope & Glory and media agency PHD.
Sainsbury's 150 Days of Community scheme launched as part of the supermarket's 150th birthday celebrations. When store manager Paul Robertson and his team, which includes Book, heard about the initiative, they suggested making the Bath store deaf-friendly.
Robertson said: "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."
Tim Fallowfield, Sainsbury's company secretary and corporate services director, added: "We’re really excited to be launching this 'Signsbury’s' initiative at our store in Bath. We want to be the most inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop, and it’s really important to us that we support both customers and colleagues with hearing difficulties to feel as comfortable as possible in our stores wherever we can."