A low sensory shopping experience was introduced at five Coles stores in Fairfield yesterday.
Coles at Wetheril Park, Edensor Park, Smithfield, Fairfield and Fairfield West will offer ‘Quiet Hour’ every Tuesday between 10.30am and 11.30am.
The initiative promotes reduced noise and lighting in store to make it easier for customers who struggle to shop in a heightened sensory environment.
Coles introduced Quiet Hour at 20 NSW stores last November in partnership with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to support customers who are, or have family members, on the autism spectrum.
The company will now have brought the initiative into an additional 56 supermarkets from Tuesday.
Coles state general manager Emma Bridges said Quiet Hour would be rolled out to more supermarkets following overwhelmingly positive feedback.
“We’ve listened to our customers and have worked hard to make our stores more welcoming and responsive to the needs of the local community,” she said.
“We’re thrilled to make Quiet Hour more accessible for our customers and help make a difference to their shopping experience at Coles.”
In preparation for the Quiet Hour, Coles staffers have been given extra training for the low sensory experience.
Trials of the innovative program have so far proved very successful, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) Community Engagement and Operations Manager, Linzi Coyle, said.
"We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from community members about their experience," she said.