Noisy, crowded supermarkets can be very stressful places, especially for customers with anxiety or autism, so to help make the shopping experience easier for all shoppers, one supermarket has instituted a “quiet hour” to help people shop in peace.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Asda Living superstore in Cheetham Hill in Manchester has decreed that at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, all the escalators, display TVs ad in-store music will be turned off as part of the store’s first “quiet hour.” Manager Simon Lea says the goal is to be able to hear a pin drop in the silent megastore.
Lea said he was inspired to create the “quiet hour” when he saw a little boy screaming and flinging himself to the floor in the store a few weeks ago. The boy’s beleaguered mother said that he had autism and was overstimulated by all the sounds and lights and noise in the store.
Sensory overload can be a problem for a lot of people, Lea says the store has many customers with autism, or customers with anxiety or disabilities that make it difficult to manage with all the lights and noise and crowds. After talking to several of them, Lea decided to try out the “quiet hour” to make things easier.
The silent hour is for any customers who would prefer to shop without the noise, and Lea is optimistic that it will be helpful for a lot of the store’s customers.