Home Bargains has become the latest retailer to announce a ‘quiet hour’ in order to create a calmer environment for customers with autism to shop in.
The initiative is being carried out in partnership with the National Autistic Society, and will see all music switched off in its stores each Saturday between 9am and 10am. The initiative follows similar moves by supermarket giants Asda and Morrisons.
Home Bargains operations director, Joe Morris, said: “We have introduced the Quiet Hour to add a peaceful element to retail therapy. Home Bargains stores can be busy places, which can be potentially overwhelming for people with autism, especially at this time of year.
“We will continually assess where we can support each and every one of our five million weekly shoppers, whatever their situation.”
National Autistic Society head of campaigns, Tom Purser, said: “We are very pleased to hear that Home Bargains is introducing a quiet hour into its stores to make shopping a little easier for autistic people and their families.
“We hear from autistic people and their families that shops and other public spaces can be challenging because of bright lights, strong smells and crowds or queues, all of which can cause them to feel overwhelmed.
“Our research shows that 64% of autistic people avoid the shops and 28% have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated with their autism.”