A Sainsbury’s in Bath has temporarily been renamed ‘Signsbury’s’ as it becomes the UK’s first signing store: a supermarket in which staff are able to use sign language.
The initiative will launch for four days, and was launched on Thursday, lasting until tomorrow.
It comes as part of a community inclusion initative to encourage people to learn and use sign language.
The launch of ‘Signsbury’s’ is a part of Sainsbury’s 150th birthday celebrations, which includes 150 days of volunteering for all colleagues across the country to help continue the company’s legacy of putting local communities first.
Over 100 Sainsbury’s employees took part in the British Sign Language lessons, which were offered by local signing school I Can Sign.
Employees at this particular store can now sign common words and phrases when interacting with customers – such as asking whether they have a Nectar Card.
To encourage customers to get involved, the store has also added digital screens to the aisles to offer them the chance of learning sign language for words such as ‘milk’ and ‘trolley’.
And even children are being encouraged to learn with a new ‘Sign for a Snack’ initiative which offers children a piece of free fruit when they have learned a few words.
Signsbury’s comes after it was suggested by one employee, Sam Book, who has hearing loss and asked the Bath store manager to make the supermarket more inclusive for deaf customers.
Bath Store Manager Paul Robertson 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.’
Actress Rachel Shenton, who is an ambassador of the National Deaf Children’s Society, added: ‘This feels like the start of something exciting and I hope it encourages more people to get involved.’
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