morrisons aisle

The initiative is designed to help customers struggling with music and noise associated with supermarket shopping

Morrisons is to introduce a ‘Quieter Hour’ in all of its stores to help customers with autism and other conditions requiring a calmer shopping trip.

Designed to help customers struggling with music and noise associated with supermarket shopping, it will take place every Saturday in all 493 Morrisons stores in the UK from 9am to 10am.

The Quieter Hour initiative has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society, which has been campaigning on behalf of people who are autistic or who have autistic children, who can find supermarket shopping an anxious experience.

Morrisons carried out a trial earlier in the year in three of its stores - Lincoln, Woking and Gainsborough.

It said one in five customers had a friend or family member with autism and many appreciated the option to shop at that time on a Saturday.

During Quieter Hours stores will dim lights, turn music and radio off, avoid making PA announcements, reduce movement of trolleys and baskets and turn checkout beeps and other electrical noises down.

Customers will be informed via posters outside that it is Quieter Hour.

Daniel Cadey, autism access development manager at the National Autistic Society, said: “Around 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK. This means they see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, often in a more intense way. Morrisons’ Quieter Hour is a step in the right direction for autistic people who find supermarket shopping a real struggle.”

Angela Gray, Morrisons community champion at Woking said: “I was involved in the initial trial as my son is autistic and we found that these changes made a real difference. The trial showed there is a need for a quieter shopping experience for some customers.”