M&S rolls-out braille range including industry-first gift card

Rollout accelerated by colleague idea submitted through the retailer’s CEO suggestion scheme - ‘Straight to Stuart'



24 July 2023

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M&S has launched a first of its kind ‘Happy Birthday’ braille gift card in the UK, developed in consultation with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Joining the gift card is a range of three braille greeting cards – covering different celebrations.

The braille gift card features an embossed outer sleeve to communicate the ‘Happy Birthday’ message and an embossed gift card enclosed within the sleeve which can be used online or in over 700 M&S stores.

RNIB estimates more than two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, of which 340,000 people are registered blind or partially sighted.

The rollout of the braille range was accelerated following suggestions from five colleagues via M&S’ CEO suggestion scheme. One of the colleagues who made the suggestion, Elizabeth Abudu, who works as a team manager at M&S’ Streatham Hill store was inspired to submit the idea while assisting blind and partially sighted customers who regularly visit the store.

“It has been fantastic to have input from RNIB to bring our new braille designs to life,” said Kathryn Turner, product development director at M&S. “At M&S, we’re committed to being a great place to shop for everyone. A massive part of that is offering inclusive products that represent the diverse communities we serve day in day out.”

“We’re delighted to have worked with M&S on their range of braille cards,” added Ali Long, director of Consumer and Business Services. “The rollout of their braille range will make such a difference to their customers who are blind or partially sighted. This is a really positive step in making shopping and the giving of cards an inclusive experience for people living with sight loss.”

It is the latest move in the retailer’s commitment to creating an inclusive and accessible M&S for every customer and colleague. For example, in 2019, M&S became the first UK retailer to introduce the sunflower lanyard scheme for customers with hidden disabilities, as a means of indicating they may need some extra support.

Each greeting card and gift card design is plastic-free, made of FSC Certified paper and fully recyclable (customers just need to remove the glue dots from the gift card).



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