Morrisons latest supermarket to launch quiet hour for autistic shoppers
Supermarket giant Morrisons is the latest to launch a “quieter hour” initiative to help autistic shoppers. The initiative will now roll out in all UK stores from this Saturday (July 21) between 9 and 10am.
The initiative has been welcomed by the National Autistic Society (NAS). Daniel Cadey, the the NAS said: “Around 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK.
“This means they see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, often in a more intense way.
“Morrisons ‘Quieter Hour’ is a step in the right direction for autistic people who find supermarket shopping a real struggle.”
The move follows trials earlier this year which identified improvements to the scheme, along with the best time for the Quieter Hour to take place.
The dedicated hour, which will take place every Saturday morning at stores in the UK, will offer a calmer, less noisy shopping experience designed help customers who currently struggle with music and the other noise associated with supermarket shopping.
Escalators, in-store music and display TVs will be switched off, lights will be dimmed and tannoy announcements will be minimal during the allocated hour.
Many people who are autistic or those with autistic children can find shopping in a supermarket an anxious experience.
According to research by the firm, one in five customers has had a friend or family member with autism and many liked the idea of being able to shop in more comfort.
Angela Gray, Morrisons Community Champion at Woking said: “I was involved in the initial trial as my son is autistic and we found that these changes made a real difference. The trial showed there is a need for a quieter shopping experience for some customers.”
Morrisons will also work to improve awareness amongst colleagues of the issues autistic customers face in store.
For further information on Morrisons ‘Quieter Hour’ visit the website here .