This Supermarket Chain Offers a “Quieter Hour.” Here’s Why.

It's easy to forget how overwhelming a trip to the supermarket can be for some shoppers.

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.

Here are 20 perks from America’s best grocery stores.

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.)

Will My Supermarket Have a Quieter Hour?

The NAS is hoping that more and more chains will jump on board. Coles supermarkets in Australia have a Quiet Hour, and one Target location in the US appears to have quiet hours (it’s in Lancaster, PA). The goal is for thousands of shops and business to adopt Quieter Hours—so maybe the best grocery stores in America will follow suit!

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Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.