Morrisons is to extend its quieter hour initiative to help customers with autism and other anxiety issues.

The supermarket, which began a quieter hour in all stores from 9am to 10am on Saturdays in 2028, said it would be extending it to run between 2pm and 3pm every week from Monday to Thursday.

The move, which coincides with this week’s World Autism Acceptance Week, will involve stores operating lower levels of lighting and turning off music. They will also avoid making PA announcements, keep movement of trolleys and baskets to a minimum, and turn down checkout beeps and other electrical noises.

A poster outside stores (pictured) will alert customers when quieter hours are underway.

“The weekly shop can be a daunting task for those who may struggle with noises associated with it, from the crashing of trolleys to loud voices and music,” said Morrisons business sponsor of ability Charlotte Exell.

“At Morrisons we are always looking for more ways to support customers. The quieter hour is incredibly popular in our stores across the nation so we have listened to customers and will now help more shoppers in our extended times.”

Tianna Cowan, corporate partnerships lead at the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s fantastic that Morrisons is extending its quieter hour initiative to support more customers while shopping.

“For some of the more than 700,000 autistic people in the UK, the loud, bright and crowded environments of supermarkets can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s vital for all businesses to learn more about the often small adjustments they can make to be more autism-friendly.

“It’s great to see businesses like Morrisons taking the time to understand and create a welcoming environment for autistic people and their families.”