Morrisons launch "Quieter Hour" for shoppers affected by noise

The Morrisons store on Cheriton Road in Folkestone

Supermarket Morrisons has announced that it will be rolling out a nationwide weekly "Quieter Hour" to 493 of its stores.

Created to help customers who struggle with music and the other noise associated with supermarket shopping, the Quieter Hour it will take place every Saturday in the Victoria Promenade store from 9-10am.

Morrisons stores in the county are set to become the first to introduce a "quieter hour" designed for customers with autism.

Staff will avoid making tannoy announcements, reduce movements of trolleys and baskets and turn off checkout beeps and other electrical noises down.

The supermarket giant will cut noise levels every Saturday from 9am to 10am in a bid to make shopping less of an anxious experience.

The scheme has been rolled out to the supermarket's 493 United Kingdom stores following successful trials in Lincoln, Woking and Gainsborough earlier this year.

Angela Gray, community champion at Morrisons supermarket in Woking, said: 'I was involved in the initial trial as my son is autistic and we found that these changes made a real difference'.

A trial earlier this year in three Morrisons' stores - Woking, Lincoln and Gainsborough - proved a big hit with customers, with one in five customers saying they had a family member or friend with autism who would likely appreciate the chance to shop in a stress-free environment.

With the support of the National Autistic Society the Mariners Way store on the Docks is setting out to help people with autism or who have autistic children have a quieter time in stores.

Morrisons will also work to improve awareness among colleagues of the issues autistic customers might face in store. This means they see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, often in a more intense way, which can make shopping a real struggle.

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