From Tuesday, September 11, Coles has introduce its low-sensory ‘quiet hour’ to an additional 56 supermarkets – including Lithgow.
The quiet hour will run between 10.30am and 11.30am each Tuesday.
Quiet Hour promotes reduced noise, lighting and distractions instore, making it easier for customers who find it challenging to shop in a heightened sensory environment.
Coles State general manager Emma Bridges said Coles was rolling out ‘quiet hour’ to more stores across the state based on overwhelmingly positive customer feedback.
“We’ve listened to our customers and have worked hard to make our stores more welcoming and responsive to the needs of the local communities in which we operate,” she said.
“We initially started with 18 ‘quiet hour’ stores in New South Wales and we’re thrilled to be increasing this figure to almost fourfold to make Quiet Hour more accessible for our customers and help make a difference to their shopping experience at Coles.”
In August 2017, Coles partnered with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to trial Quiet Hour at two Victorian stores (Ringwood and Balwyn East) to support customers who are, or have family members, on the autism spectrum.
After a successful trial, Quiet Hour was initially rolled out to 70 supermarkets across the country. From Tuesday, September 11, 173 stores in Australia will now offer the low-sensory experience.
During Quiet Hour, customers will notice the following changes in participating Coles supermarkets:
• Lighting will be reduced throughout the store
• Coles Radio will be switched off
• Register and scanner volumes will be reduced to the lowest level
• No trolley collections and roll cages will be removed from the shop floor
• No PA announcements *excluding in case of emergencies
• Free fruit will be offered at customer service
• Additional team members will be available to support customers during the hour