We recently brought you news that an Asda Living store in Manchester planned to introduce a weekly 'quiet hour' to help make shopping less stressful for autistic and disabled customers – and the first one was so successful that it has prompted eight other shops in the area to follow suit!
A first for any supermarket in the UK, the initiative was started by Asda store manager Simon Lea who, upon seeing a boy struggling to cope in store, came up with the idea to create a better experience for autistic and disabled customers. Opening an hour early at 8am on Saturday, the first ‘quiet hour’ saw escalators, in-store music, tannoys and display TV's all switched off to create a more peaceful and welcoming atmosphere for customers. Autistic customers were also provided with a map of the store featuring pictures instead of words.
The feedback was phenomenal. As Simon told the Manchester Evening News, “It went really well. The store was silent, and we had great feedback from the families who benefited. Now it will be a regular event for us – every Saturday.”
However, Simon’s idea for a super-quiet shopping environment didn't only go down well with Asda customers. Striking a chord with thousands of people around the country who suffer from autisim and their families, the initiative has inspired other stores to adopt their own version of ‘quiet hour’. As Simon said: “We have eight other stores on board now at Manchester Fort who will be doing the same.”
Fantastic news that just shows how a small idea can turn into something great, helping countless people in the process. We look forward to seeing more ‘quiet hours’ spring up across the UK in time.
Did you go to the first 'quiet hour' in Asda Living Manchester? Let us know what you think of the initiative by using #goodliving on social media.