Coles' Autism Spectrum-Friendly 'Quiet Hour' Just Rolled Out Nationwide

Lloyd Doyle
November 21, 2017

COLES has rolled out autism-friendly shopping to nearly 70 stores across the country, and one Sunshine Coast supermarket has made the list.

Coles teamed up with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) in August to trial Quiet Hour at two Victorian stores.

In addition, the volume will be turned down on beeping scanners, trolley collections will be paused, PA announcements will be restricted to emergencies, and trained staff will be on deck to help customers.

Quiet hour will be offered at an additional 66 stores across Australia, one in every region, following a trial in Victoria earlier this year.

If you walk into Coles this week and find the music off, the lights low and the aisles peacefully quiet, don't worry you're not dreaming, this is Coles in Quiet Hour.

Peter Sheean, Coles' accessibility sponsor, said the company was pleased to receive a resoundingly positive response for the initiative on social media. To achieve this, the supermarket creates a shopping environment in which both customers and team members feel comfortable.

Coles' Autism Spectrum-Friendly 'Quiet Hour' Just Rolled Out Nationwide
Coles' Autism Spectrum-Friendly 'Quiet Hour' Just Rolled Out Nationwide

Around 1 in every 100 Australians have an autism spectrum disorder, and a significant portion of that community might find shopping a lil' easier because of this move. The trial held at Coles in Ringwood and Balwyn East was a wonderful success and we received a lot of positive feedback from community members about their experience.

Many people living with autism find it hard to be around loud noises and highly stimulative environments, such as supermarkets where a combination of bright lights, bustling customers and loud noises can become too much.

"The modifications to the shopping experience haven't just been about creating low physical and sensory stimulators", she added. Aspect also found these customers most commonly do their grocery shopping on a Tuesday morning with their families.

"We encourage anyone who may benefit from the experience to visit a participating Coles store and try sensory-friendly shopping".

"This is absolutely unbelievable", one person wrote on Aspect's Facebook page.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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