Sainsbury's Unveils 'Signsbury's' - The UK's First Sign Language Store
A Sainsbury's in Bath has temporarily relaunched as 'Signsbury's' - the UK's first sign language supermarket.
The move comes after 100 colleagues took part in British Sign Language (BSL) lessons, and now, staff will use what they learnt to interact with customers with sign language - from making small talk about the weather to asking if they have a Nectar card.
For customers who know don't know what anything other than a thumbs up means, there are screens installed around the store which demonstrate how to sign handy words such as 'milk', 'bananas' and 'trolley'.
Children are also encouraged to get involved by signing for a snack, with completion of a few signs earning them a piece of fruit; though no doubt they would pick it up quicker if Twirls and Pringles were on offer.
The move comes as part of Sainsbury's 150 Days of Community scheme, which aims to promote inclusivity, and the idea to make the Bath store more deaf-friendly was inspired by store manager, Paul Robertson, and deaf staff member, Sam Book.
Actor Rachel Shenton - who signed her Oscar acceptance speech last year for short film The Silent Child - also got on board as part of the initiative.
Shenton - who is an ambassador for the National Deaf Children's Society - said: "This is a fantastic initiative to be involved in. 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".
Signsbury's launched on Thursday and will be open for the last time today.
Tim Fallowfield, board sponsor for disability and carers across Sainsbury's, said: "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.
"We're really proud of Paul and the team at Bath who thought up this wonderful idea as part of our 150 Days of Community celebrations."
It is estimated that around 11 million people in the UK live with hearing loss and it is hoped the initiative will inspire people to learn sign language and help those who cannot hear.
Featured Image Credit: PA