Morrisons has introduced a ‘quieter hour’ in its stores to help people who struggle with the noise of supermarket shopping.
The initiative, which will run on Saturday mornings from 9am to 10am, will see lights dimmed in stores, music turned off, checkout beeps turned down, and tannoy announcements stopped.
Created with the National Autistic Society, it is hoped to help customers who struggle with music and other noise that comes with supermarket shopping.
Morrisons said the move follows a trial earlier this year in stores in Lincoln, Woking and Gainsborough which helped identify improvements that could be made and the best time for the Quieter Hour to take place.
It said a survey of customers had found that one in five had a friend or family member with autism and many liked the idea of being able to shop in more comfort at 9-10am on a Saturday.
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.”
MORE: Dairy dilemma – products like butter, yoghurt and cheese could become luxuries after Brexit
MORE: CCTV appeal launched after mother walking with young children and dog robbed of her engagement ring in London
Daniel Cadey, from the National Autistic Society, added: “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.”