A Woolworths customer has urged the supermarket giant to make changes after a “completely unacceptable” incident at her local store.
Perth resident Brooke, who uses a wheelchair, spoke about the “disappointing” experience of attempting to use the disabled toilets at the Butler shop on December 11.
The customer explained that she was shopping with her husband when she had to use the store’s restrooms.
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But Brooke was frustrated to see that access to the disabled toilets was completely blocked by a large number of boxes, making it impossible to access the facilities in a wheelchair.
Since then, she has urged Woolworths – along with other Australian companies – to provide more education to employees about access and inclusion for people with disabilities.
“Changes need to be made,” she told 7NEWS.com.au. “And not just at Woolworths.
“It’s very frustrating being in a wheelchair and not being able to get to a lot of places. This only underscores the lack of education and awareness.”
Brooke posted pictures of the disabled area on Facebook and described the incident as disappointing.
“What’s wrong with this picture?” she asked in her Facebook post.
“While shopping with my husband at your butler shop in Western Australia yesterday (December 11) I had to use the bathroom. But as we approached the disabled toilet, we were greeted with it.
“Where is the access and inclusion? Why should I have to hold it back ’til I get home? I am absolutely shocked that I have to drop my groceries or cut short my shopping spree because you have blocked access to the disabled toilet.”
She added: “Please change this as soon as possible so this doesn’t happen again. Everyone deserves a pleasant shopping experience.
“How disappointing that this is happening.”
7NEWS.com.au understands Woolworths shares have been left outside the disabled toilet area for a short time.
The boxes are believed to have been misplaced there after the store received a large shipment of stock from the motorway, meaning there was limited space for the boxes available.
Brooke says the incident took a confusing turn hours later when her husband returned to the store to make sure the goods had been brought in from the area.
As the boxes were being taken away, he was shocked to find that a new piece of paper had been placed over the disabled toilet sign, saying it was now ‘for staff only’.
The new sign directed customers to the mall’s restroom facilities, which are located outside of the Woolworths store.
“WTF, Woolies?” Brooke added to her Facebook post.
A Woolworths spokesman has since clarified to 7NEWS.com.au that the toilet is available for disabled customers.
“We apologize for the poor customer experience,” the spokesman said.
“Woolworths appreciates that customers would expect it to be available due to its location in a public area of the store and this continues to be the case.
“We have reached out to Brooke to apologize and look forward to welcoming her back in business.”
Speaking to 7NEWS.com.au, Brooke, who works in the disability sector, said she hopes Woolworths will learn from the experience and upskill its staff.
“So many companies need training on disability access and inclusion, and employees need to be educated on acceptable workspaces,” she said.
She added: “I need to be a voice for people in wheelchairs and with mobility issues that face it every day. It needs to be highlighted and changes need to be made.”
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/woolworths-shopper-calls-for-change-after-completely-unacceptable-find-its-very-frustrating-c-9157930 A shopper at Woolworths supermarket demands change after the disabled toilet at the Butler, WA store was blocked