5 December 2017

Coles Woden first ACT supermarket to introduce 'Quiet Hour'

| Lachlan Roberts
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girl in supermarket trolley.

Supermarkets are introducing Quiet Hour to support customers facing difficulty in heightened sensory environments.

Coles Woden has today become the first ACT supermarket to launch Quiet Hour for local customers after a successful trial across stores throughout the country.

Coles Woden is one of 70 Coles supermarkets across Australia to offer Quiet Hour which provides a low-sensory shopping experience by making changes in store.

Quiet Hour will run every Tuesday between 10:30 – 11:30 am and will reduce noise and distractions to help make a difference to customers who find it challenging to shop in a heightened sensory environment.

Some of the changes in store during the hour will include reducing the radio to lowest volume, dimming the lights by 50 percent and turning down register and scanner volumes to the lowest level. Additional staff will also be rostered on to support customers.

The launch comes after the supermarket chain struck a partnership with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) in August.

Quiet Hour was initially trialled in August at two Victorian stores to support customers who are, or have family members, on the autism spectrum.

Coles Accessibility Sponsor Peter Sheean said they were really pleased to receive positive feedback from customers and team members about the trials.

“It’s fantastic to hear that the changes we made in store during the trial had helped to make a real difference to our customers’ shopping experience at Coles.”

“Our team members are enthusiastic about the initiative and look forward to offering Quiet Hour to their customers at Woden Plaza who might benefit from the experience.”

Westfield Woden has shown its commitment to provide a comfortable space for people struggling with autism by also having a ‘calm room’ which is a safe and private space for children and adults living with sensory difficulties.

The Calm Room offers secure access and some sensory-based resources which provides individuals with the opportunity to self-regulate.

Westfield Woden has also run Sensory Santa, which provides children with special needs an opportunity to meet Santa in a private and comfortable, sensory-friendly environment.

What do you think of the initiative of Quiet Hour? Will it make you more likely to shop at stores which offer this kind of low-sensory shopping experience? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

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Woden Valley Community Council8:55 pm 10 Dec 17

Sounds like a great initiative. Thanks for thinking of the community.

I was there for this and enjoyed the peace. I’m not ‘on the spectrum’, but I do find the loud inane musak annoying. It was all very peaceful and as the customers were really quiet, you realise that the noise all comes form the supermarket. I gave them good feedback on it.

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