Shopping can be stressful at the best of times but for those with sensory stress or specific needs, it can be an even more daunting task.
With that in mind Woolworths at Singleton and Muswellbrook is now offering a low-sensory quiet hour to help reduce anxiety and sensory stress for its affected customers.
During Quiet Hour, Woolworths Singleton and Muswellbrook will lower lights, turn down music or radio and turn off oven buzzers for an hour, every Tuesday between 10:30am and 11:30am.
The national introduction of the hour follows a successful trial that has so far seen more than 264 stores across Australia introduce the initiative.
Woolworths Singleton and Muswellbrook Manager, Troy Haggerty said he was confident that there was a demand for such an hour.
"Our customers have told us there's a need in the community for a low-sensory shopping experience in the area, so we're pleased to expand Quiet Hour to Woolworths Singleton and Muswellbrook," he said.
"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.
"Quiet Hour is a fantastic initiative by Woolworths that recognises the different needs of some customers," Life Without Barriers Chief Executive Claire Robbs said.
"It gives people a way to do their shopping and increase their independence in an environment that is not stressful and overwhelming to them."
Quiet Hour runs from 10:30am - 11:30am every Tuesday. During this hour, temporary changes are made to the store, including:
- Turning off bakery ovens or chicken cooker buzzers
- Reducing volume on store phones and registers on the trading floor
- Clearing store entry ways
- Reducing lighting and in store music
- Removing roll cages from the shop floor and;
- Stopping all PA announcements (excluding cases of emergencies)