In our collection of ways to make grocery shopping go smoothly, number one is to shop when the crowds won’t be overwhelming. That usually means you’ll have to shop midday on a Wednesday. But Morrisons, a supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, has made it easier to grocery shop in peace by starting a weekly “Quieter Hour” at all 493 locations.
Here’s What the Quieter Hour Is Like
Each Saturday between 9 and 10 a.m., all background music will be turned off, loudspeaker announcements will be avoided as much as possible and all other controllable noises (such as the beeping noises during checkout) will be minimized. In addition, the store’s lights will be dimmed, making for a visually “quiet” experience.
Why Have a Quieter Hour?
For people on the autism spectrum, supermarket shopping can be a challenge. People with autism see, hear and feel the world differently, often in a more intense way, according to The National Autistic Society (NAS). This contributes to 64% avoiding shopping altogether.
The Quieter Hour at Morrisons was inspired by the “Too Much Information” campaign. It’s aimed at helping the public understand and empathize with people who are on the autism spectrum.
“Morrisons’ Quieter Hour is a step in the right direction for autistic people and their families, making shopping more autism-friendly,” said one NAS spokesperson. Quieter Hour will also benefit people who aren’t on the autism spectrum but find the brightness and noise of supermarkets to be overwhelming at times.
(Having a well-organized grocery list can also get you in and out of the store quickly, too.)