Thursday 22 August 2019: Following a successful trial period in Western Australia, Woolworths Geraldton will now offer the low-sensory Quiet Hour to customers.
The program is designed to reduce anxiety and sensory stress for customers with specific needs, including autism, by providing a quieter and less stimulating environment in store.
Autism Spectrum Australia estimates more than 300,000 (or 1 in 70) Australians are on the autism spectrum*.
Woolworths Geraldton will lower lights, turn down music and radio, and turn off oven buzzers for an hour every Tuesday between 10:30am and 11:30am.
Woolworths Geraldton will join more than 260 stores nationally, including 20 in Western Australia.
Woolworths Group Manager James Ferguson said: “We’ve heard from our customers there is a need in the community for a low sensory shopping experience in the area.
“Off the back of successful trials, we’re delighted to expand Quiet Hour to Woolworths Geraldton 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 low sensory initiative was developed in consultation with disability service providers at Life Without Barriers.
Life Without Barriers 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:
Reducing volume on store phones and registers on the trading floor;
Roll cages will be removed from the shop floor; and
No PA announcements (excluding in case of emergencies).