And finally…supermarket chain to introduce “quieter hour” for shoppers

Supermarket giant Morrisons are to introduce a ‘Quieter Hour’ in all of its shops in a move aimed to help customers who struggle with music and the other noise associated with supermarket shopping.

During Quieter Hours, Morrisons stores will dim the lights, turn music and radio off, avoid making tannoy announcements, reduce movement of trolleys and baskets, turn checkout beeps and other electrical noises down and place a poster outside to tell customers the the Quieter Hour is in effect.

This new initiative has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society.

In a statement the supermarket chain said: “Many people who are autistic or those with autistic children can find shopping in a supermarket an anxious experience. Having carried out a trial earlier in the year in our Lincoln, Woking and Gainsborough stores, we identified improvements that could be made as well as the best time for the Quieter Hour to take place.”

Daniel Cadey, the 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.”

Listening to customers, we found that one in five had a friend or family member with autism and many liked the idea of being able to shop in more comfort at 9-10am on a Saturday.

Angela Gray, Morrisons Community Champion at Woking, added: “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.”