Stratford shop assistant's bright idea hits M&S shelves - The Stratford Observer

Stratford shop assistant's bright idea hits M&S shelves

Stratford Editorial 11th Sep, 2023   0

A FIRST of its kind ‘Happy Birthday’ braille gift card has been launched at Marks and Spencer thanks to the bright idea of a Stratford colleague.

The card has been developed in consultation with the Royal National Institute of Blind People and was the suggestion of Emily Russell who works at the M&S store in Bridge Street.

Emily submitted the idea to expand the shop’s braille card range by posting it in a suggestion box, which encourages colleagues to share ideas and views with M&S CEO Stuart Machin.

Emily was keen for M&S to expand on the existing range after seeing how well it performed in store. Her idea stemmed from years of supporting those with sight loss after Emily’s parents regularly supported Guide Dogs UK throughout her childhood.




The industry-first braille gift card features an embossed outer sleeve to communicate the ‘Happy Birthday’ message and an embossed gift card enclosed within the sleeve.

As well as the gift card is a range of three braille greeting cards – covering different celebrations.


Emily said: “It’s great to see the braille greeting cards arrive in store. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Stuart for implementing the suggestions scheme, it’s so encouraging to know that colleague ideas are reviewed and listened to.”

RNIB spokesperson Ali Long added: “We’re delighted to have worked with M&S on their range of braille cards. 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.”

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