Coles has made a big move to extend Quiet Hour across its stores to five days a week to help customers. See how it will work.
Quiet Hour, the low-sensory shopping experience initiated by supermarket giant Coles, will now be rolled out weekdays between 6:00pm and 7:00pm to cater to a broader range of customers, including working parents.
During these designated hours, Coles Radio will be turned down alongside register and scanner volumes and team members will only use the PA in emergency cases.
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This move has been welcomed by Jasmine Parker and her daughter, Evie, 10.
“Our family is just like any other and we have the same need to do essential things like grocery shopping, so being able to do this in an environment that I know is more supportive of some autistic people’s needs is a huge relief. For my husband and I, just having the option to bring our daughter along with us to do our grocery shopping without the added worry of it being too overwhelming for her from a sensory perspective, or that it won’t cause her distress, is something we are really thankful for,” said Jasmine,
“Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case for many autistic people and their families, so it’s great to see Coles expanding the Quiet Hour initiative and being more inclusive of the autism community.”
Coles introduced Quiet Hour in select stores in 2017 between 10:30am to 11:30am on Tuesdays, but this national Monday to Friday rollout will provide a more convenient grocery shopping experience for individuals who find high-sensory environments challenging.
Coles Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Katie Wyatt said the company is always looking for new ways to serve customers with disabilities and their carers.
“Up to 70 per cent of autistic people experience sensitivity to sounds, with autistic adults reporting that these symptoms worsen with stress and anxiety therefore, Quiet Hour promotes increased opportunity and enhances the shopping experience for thousands of customers.”
Coles joined forces with Amaze, a not-for-profit autism organisation in 2021 to help meet the needs of autistic people and their families, including collaborating on the store environment.
“The expansion of their low-sensory shopping experience is just another example of
the many steps that they have taken over the years to understand and purposefully meet the needs of not only their autistic customers but also their autistic employees.” said Amaze CEO, Jim Mullan.