From Tuesday, the Collie Coles store will introduce quiet hour which offers customers an opportunity to get their groceries in a low-sensory environment.
Each Tuesday from 10.30am to 11.30am the store will reduce its noise, lighting and in-store distractions making it easier for customers who find it challenging to shop in a heightened sensory environment.
Coles state general manager Pat Zanetti said Coles was rolling out quiet hour to more stores across WA based on overwhelmingly positive customer feedback.
“We have listened to our customers and have worked hard to make our stores more welcoming and responsive to the needs of the local communities in which we operate,” he said.
“We initially started with nine quiet hour stores in WA, and now we’re thrilled to be trebling this figure to make quiet hour more accessible for our customers and help make a difference to their shopping experience at Coles.”
In August 2017, Coles partnered with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to trial quiet hour at two Victorian stores to support customers who are, or have family members, on the autism spectrum.
After a successful trial, quiet hour was initially rolled out to 70 supermarkets across the country, including Margaret River.
From Tuesday, 173 stores in Australia will offer the low-sensory experience.
During Quiet Hour, customers will notice the following changes in participating Coles supermarkets:
- Lighting will be reduced throughout the store
- Coles Radio will be switched off
- Register and scanner volumes will be reduced to the lowest level
- No trolley collections and roll cages will be removed from the shop floor
- No PA announcements *excluding in case of emergencies
- Free fruit will be offered at customer service
- Additional team members will be available to support customers during the hour