Supermarket introduces ‘Quieter Hour’ to help create calmer shopping experience

Morrisons, Wick, is one of a number of Morrisons to take part. Photo by Derek Martin
Morrisons, Wick, is one of a number of Morrisons to take part. Photo by Derek Martin

Morrisons around Sussex have announced plans for a ‘Quieter Hour’ in store every Saturday.

Designed to help customers who struggle with music and the other noise associated with supermarket shopping, the Quieter Hour it will take place every Saturday in the stores from 9-10am.

The initiative, which has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society, will see the lights dimmed and music and radio turned off.

Staff will avoid making tannoy announcements, reduce movements of trolleys and baskets and turn off checkout beeps and other electrical noises down.

A poster outside will also tell customers it’s Quieter Hour.

Following research which showed that people who are autistic or those with autistic children can find shopping in a supermarket an anxious experience, Morrisons carried out a trial earlier in the year in three of its stores to find out what improvements could be made and to find a convenient time each week for the ‘Quieter Hour’ to take place.

The time was set based on customer feedback.

Morrisons will also work to improve awareness amongst colleagues of the issues autistic customers face in store.

Daniel Cadey, 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. Morrisons ‘Quieter Hour’ is a step in the right direction for autistic people who find supermarket shopping a real struggle.”

More stories in the news

Save our pubs says supermodel-turned-landlady Jodie Kidd

Mum’s warning as girl, 12, survives fall on live railway line

What’s on over the summer holidays in Sussex