Northampton supermarket introduces 'Quieter Hour' to help create calmer shopping experience

Morrisons in Northampton where Quieter Hour will take place between 9-10am on Saturdays
Morrisons in Northampton where Quieter Hour will take place between 9-10am on Saturdays

Morrisons in Northampton has announced plans for a 'Quieter Hour' in store every Saturday.

Designed 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.

The initiative, which has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society, will see the lights dimmed and music and radio turned off.

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

A poster outside will also tell customers it's Quieter Hour.

Following research which showed that people who are autistic or those with autistic children can find shopping in a supermarket an anxious experience, Morrisons carried out a trial earlier in the year in three of its stores to find out what improvements can be made and to find a convenient time each week for the ‘Quieter Hour’ to take place.

The time was set based on customer feedback.

Mark Winters at Morrisons Northampton said: “Our initial trials showed there is a need for a quieter shopping experience. We hope that these changes make a real difference for some of our customers at our store.”

Morrisons will also work to improve awareness amongst colleagues of the issues autistic customers face in store.

Daniel Cadey, from 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.”