Quieter hour at superstore to help autistic customers
MORRISONS Southport is to introduce a quieter hour for customers who would benefit from a calmer shopping trip.
Designed to help customers who struggle with music and other noise associated with supermarket shopping, it will take place every Saturday in the Winter Gardens store at 9-10am.
The Quieter Hour initiative has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society.
Many people who are autistic or those with autistic children can find shopping an anxious experience.
Morrisons carried out a trial earlier in the year in three of its stores to find out what improvements can be made and to find a convenient time each week for the quieter hour.
Staff found one in five customers had a friend or family member with autism and many appreciated the option to shop at that time on a Saturday.
During quieter hours the store will dim the lights, turn music and radios off, avoid making tannoy announcements, reduce movement of trolleys and baskets, turn checkout beeps and other electrical noises down, and place a poster outside to tell customers it is the quieter hour.
Morrisons will also work to improve awareness among colleagues of the issues autistic customers face in store.
Daniel Cadey, from the National Autistic Society, said: “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.”
Robert Alexander at Morrisons Southport said: “Our initial trials showed there is a need for a quieter shopping experience.
“We hope that these changes make a real difference for some of our customers at our store.” NEW £20m mental health hospital is being built in Southport – and the NHS trust wants you to name it.
Currently being built off Scarisbrick New Road and due to open in early 2020, the facility will provide inpatients with single ensuite bedrooms, as well as access to safe inner garden courtyards, and therapy and activity areas,
An impression of how the outside, and, below, the inside of the unit will appear