Designed to help customers who struggle with music and the other noise associated with supermarket shopping, Quieter Hour will take place every Saturday in all of the supermarket chain’s 493 stores nationwide from 9am to 10am.
The initiative has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society. Many people who are autistic, or those with autistic children, can find shopping in a supermarket an anxious experience.
The retailer carried out a trial earlier in the year in three of its stores – Lincoln, Woking and Gainsborough – to find out what improvements can be made and to find the most convenient time for Quieter Hour to take place. Morrisons said of the customers surveyed, one in five had a friend or family member with autism and many appreciated the option to shop at that time on a Saturday.
Morrisons will also work to improve awareness amongst staff of the issues that autistic customers face in-store.
The National Autistic Society autism access development manager Daniel Cadey 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.”
During ‘Quieter Hour’ Morrisons will:
- Dim the lights
- Turn music and radio off
- Avoid making tannoy announcements
- Reduce movement of trolleys and baskets
- Turn checkout beeps and other electrical noises down
- Place a poster outside to tell customers it’s Quieter Hour