Back to Articles September 20, 2018 | Sector News

Coles Expanding its Autism Friendly Shopping Experience

Supermarket Sensory Edited Photo

Autism Spectrum Australia helped Coles to develop the Quiet Hour program. It is designed to create a shopping environment that is more suitable for people on the autism spectrum. It aims to achieve this by providing a low-sensory shopping experience that is autism-friendly. The participating stores make changes such as dimming the lights as well as reducing in-store noise and distractions. Participating stores offer Quiet Hour between 10.30 am and 11.30 am every Tuesday.

Coles rolled out an initial trial of the Quiet Hour program in November 2017 at 70 supermarkets across Australia. Two of the stores in the initial trial were located in Victoria, at Ringwood and Balwyn East.

PARTICIPATING AUTISM-FRIENDLY STORES CREATE A LOW-SENSORY ENVIRONMENT BY DOING THE FOLLOWING:

  • Store lighting is reduced.
  • Coles Radio is switched off.
  • Register and scanner volumes are reduced to the lowest level.
  • No trolley collections or roll cages are removed from the shop floor.
  • No PA announcements except in the case of emergencies.
  • Free fruit is offered at customer service.
  • Additional team members are available to support customers.

CURRENT PARTICIPATING STORES:

A full list of the over 400 national participating  stores can be found on the Coles website at the following link:

https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles/community/accessibility/quiet-hour

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