|There will be a "Quiet Hour" at the New|
Norfolk Woolworths each Tuesday.
The business has announced that the period from 10.30-11.30am every Tuesday will be "Quiet Hour" at 260 of its supermarkets nationwide.
The initiative is intended to help to reduce anxiety and sensory stress for customers with specific needs, including autism, by providing a quieter and less stimulating environment in each store. Autism Spectrum Australia estimates more than 300,000 (or one in 70) Australians are on the autism spectrum.
During the nominated hour each Tuesday, selected Woolworths stores will lower their lights, turn down music and turn off oven buzzers. Woolworths New Norfolk will join more than 260 stores nationally, including three others in the greater Hobart area doing so.
“We’ve heard from our customers there is a need in the community for a low sensory shopping experience in the area," Woolworths operations manager Tristan Merrett said. “Off the back of successful trials, we’re delighted to expand Quiet Hour to Hobart for the benefit of even more customers. Our team takes great pride in ensuring the store is quieter and less stressful for customers who want to shop during Quiet Hour and we look forward to welcoming them in store.”
The initiative was developed in consultation with disability service providers at Life Without Barriers, whose chief executive, Claire Robbs, said: “Quiet Hour is a fantastic accessibility initiative by Woolworths that recognises that people have different accessibility needs. “It gives people a way to do their shopping and increase their independence in an environment that is not stressful and overwhelming to them.”
During Quiet Hour, customers will also notice the following changes:
● Reduced volume on telephones phones and cash registers on the trading floor;
● Roll cages will be removed from the shop floor; and
● No public address announcements (except in case of emergencies).
The participating greater Hobart Woolworth stores are New Norfolk, New Town, Eastlands and Channel Court.