Morrisons launches weekly ‘quiet hour’ to help autistic shoppers

Morrisons has introduced a 'quiet hour' every Saturday to help shoppers with autism following a successful trial earlier this year.

Supermarkets can be a stressful place to be for most people. At peak times, with trollies and children everywhere, completing your food shop can feel like mission impossible!

For those suffering from autism the supermarket environment can feel even more chaotic with background noise from the radio, tannoy announcements and not forgetting the harsh lighting.

This is exactly why Morrisons has introduced a weekly ‘quiet hour’ which is designed to make the shopping experience more enjoyable and calmer for their customers who are autistic.

As part of the quiet hour stores will dim their lights, turn off music and check-out beeps and avoid using the tannoy to make customer and staff announcements.

The quiet hour will be held on Saturdays from 9am until 10am which is great for those looking to stock-up for the weekend and the week ahead.

busy supermarket

Quiet hour will see lights dimmed, music turned off and tannoy use limited 

Morrisons have designed the quiet hour in collaboration with the National Autistic Society and it will run across all 493 of the supermarkets stores in the UK.

Daniel Cadey, the from the National Autistic Society 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.

He described the quiet hour as ‘a step in the right direction for autistic people who find supermarket shopping a real struggle.’

The subtle changes from Morrisons will make a huge difference to the shopping experience of people with autism.

From the initial trial which took place in stores in Lincoln, Woking and Gainsborough, Morrisons discovered that one in five of its shoppers had a friend or relative with autism.

Angela Gray, community champion at Morrisons in 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.’

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