The onset of the holiday season means the busiest shopping day of the year is upon us – Black Friday! Every savvy shopper knows the day after Thanksgiving is ripe with deals, discounts, and offers that only come around but once on the calendar.
If you require the use of a Pride Mobility device such as an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter while out shopping, it might seem difficult to get the most out of your Black Friday experience. But we have a few tips to complete your accessible shopping and navigate the bustle of Black Friday that we hope you’ll find helpful.
Research accessible stores in your area.
Stores and businesses open to the public must adhere to standards established in the Americans with Disabilities Act. But that doesn’t mean all stores are created equal.
Some may have fewer handicapped parking spaces than others, and those spaces may be in a tight area that would make getting your device in and out of your vehicle more difficult. Others may have more narrow aisles and doors that are more challenging to navigate.
Take note of these factors as you shop throughout the year or take a stroll around town when you have some free time before Black Friday and identify which stores would be most accommodating to accessible shopping. Either way, doing research ahead of time can make a world of difference when Black Friday comes.
Make a list and check it twice.
Another important part of the preparation process is determining ahead of time which items you’d like to buy. Whether you’re going to a standalone store or a mall, you want to avoid relying on memory, which could make the experience more difficult. That’s not to say you can’t be spontaneous if you spot something you weren’t originally intending to purchase – but formulating a plan before you leave the house will make your trip that much more efficient.
If you compile a list specifically for a mall, research the mall’s website to see if there’s a directory map available. This will help you plot out a streamlined route to visit each store in a logical order.
Don’t go it alone.
This means two things. First, as part of your research into accessible stores, consider the staff. If they’re friendly and go out of their way to accommodate your needs, you know you’ll be in good hands in that store. If the staff doesn’t appear to be sensitive to your needs, it’s best to avoid that particular place.
Secondly, while you may be able to accomplish your shopping goals on your own, it’s always best to have someone with whom to go. A friend or family member can help you push a cart or reach items on higher shelves.
The bottom line is to make sure there are people around who can assist you if needed. Having that peace of mind will ease some of your anxiousness during what can be a very stressful experience on Black Friday.
How will you carry your items?
If you want to minimize the number of shopping expeditions you’ll make throughout the holiday season, chances are you’ll be making most of your purchases in one shot. That also means you’ll be tasked with transporting a significant number of items from the store to the car.
Some stores offer specialized carts that can attach to your electric wheelchair or mobility scooter. This is where you can store several items as you continue to shop. In the event that only traditional carts or baskets are available, you can park it in a single location under the supervision of the staff. Then as you gather items, return to the cart and drop them off.
Again, if it’s possible to have a friend or family member accompany you, they can push the cart or help you carry items throughout the store.
Remember, there’s always Cyber Monday.
Even if you enjoy the thrill of mixing it up with the crowds on Black Friday and the rush of spotting that perfect deal in person, it’s never a bad idea to consider the alternative. In this case, Cyber Monday.
In recent years, the same holiday deals that have traditionally been offered on Black Friday are now available through online purchases via Cyber Monday. While you can still enjoy the spectacle of Black Friday, don’t fret if you don’t get to take advantage of every deal. After all, it’s a hectic day of shopping and things may not go exactly as you planned.
Take the weekend to consider some of the offers that you may have missed and prepare for Cyber Monday. Shopping online is convenient and can help take away some of the physical and mental stress of trying to get everything done on Black Friday.
Pride Mobility is here for the holidays.
If you’re considering a mobility solution to make your holiday shopping easier, you can check out Pride Mobility’s diverse range of electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters, designed to fit anyone’s mobility needs.
And if you have questions about which Pride product is right for you, you can start by taking our product quiz online and contacting your treating practitioner for a face-to-face examination.