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Supermarkets with ‘quiet shopping’
By Jinny Throup
The UK supermarket chain Morrisons has introduced a “quiet hour” in order to create a calmer shopping experience for customers who have autism. Every Saturday morning between 9:00 and 10:00, all of the chain’s 493 branches will switch off the music, avoid public address announcements, dim the lights, reduce the movement of trolleys and turn the volume of checkout beeps down. The initiative was devised in collaboration with the National Autistic Society and came about after a survey by Morrisons revealed that one in five of its customers has a friend or family member with autism. Whilst the quiet hour is not restricted solely to autistic people – any customer can still shop at this time - it is an effective way to make the experience of shopping in a supermarket much more relaxing and less overwhelming for those with autism or similar disabilities.