Did You Know Supermarkets Abroad Have A "Quiet Hour"?
If you love traveling, one of the best things that we recommend you add to your itinerary is grocery shopping! You'll have a wider range of products to choose from compared to a souvenir shop, plus it's always interesting to experience how supermarkets operate in other countries. For example, self-checkout counters are a norm in other countries.
In Australia, famous supermarket chain Woolworths has an initiative that isn't common all around the world.
In 2019, Woolworths started a Quiet Hour initiative in more than 240 of their stores in Australia. Quiet Hour is a low-sensory program that is "designed to reduce anxiety and sensory stress for customers with specific needs, including autism, by providing a quieter and less stimulating environment in stores."
During Woolworths' Quiet Hour, the lights are dimmed down; they reduce the volume of the music, radio, store phones, and registers on the trading flow; the oven buzzers are turned off; roll cages are removed from the shop floor, and there are no PA announcements-unless there's an emergency.
Woolworths' Quiet Hour happens once a week, and only for an hour: every Tuesday morning, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This happens in a number of their branches all over the world (not just in Australia) and the schedule may differ.
According to the Woolworths Group, the Quiet Hour initiative was developed when they consulted disability service providers at Life Without Barriers, a non-profit organization with a goal to care and support people with disabilities.
Other supermarkets that also have sensory hours for grocery shopping are Coles, Safeway, and Sobeys.
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