Did You Know Supermarkets Abroad Have A "Quiet Hour"?

It's a very progressive and inclusive initiative!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Other supermarkets that also have sensory hours for grocery shopping are Coles, Safeway, and Sobeys.

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