Coles Expands Quiet Hour To Enhance Shopping Experience For Customers

Coles, one of Australia’s leading supermarket chains, has announced the expansion of its low-sensory shopping initiative, Quiet Hour, to five days a week.

Quiet Hour will now be available from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday, providing a convenient evening time for those who find high sensory environments challenging.

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Katie Wyatt, Coles Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said: “At Coles, we are always looking for new ways to serve our customers with disabilities and their carers, and we are privileged to have many active voices of people with disability in our feedback channels.”

During Quiet Hour, customers will notice several changes to reduce sensory stimuli, including lowering Coles Radio volume to the minimum, decreasing register and scanner noise, and refraining from using the PA system unless in emergencies.

In Australia, up to 70 per cent of autistic individuals experience sensitivity to sounds. Ms Wyatt said the initiative has increased opportunity and enhanced the shopping experience for thousands of customers.

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The Quiet Hour was first introduced in 2017, reducing sound and lighting between 10:30am to 11:30am on Tuesdays at select stores.

Coles partnered with Amaze, a not-for-profit autism organisation, in 2021, working on various initiatives to enhance accessibility in stores and build awareness. 

Amaze CEO Jim Mullan praised Coles for its commitment to understanding and meeting the needs of autistic individuals.

“The expansion of their low-sensory shopping experience is just another example of the many steps that they have taken over the years to understand and purposefully meet the needs of not only their Autistic customers but also their autistic employees.”

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