Baby Hints & Tips

Coles launches quiet hour to create autism friendly shopping experience

Coles have started a Quiet Hour initiative to create an autism friendly shopping experience. Find out if your store will be adopting this initiative!

Coles have revealed their newest initiative, Quiet Hour to assist families and individuals on the autism spectrum or suffering with sensory issues. Quiet Hour will roll out across 68 Coles stores Australia wide, creating an autism friendly shopping experience by giving customers with autistic family members the opportunity to shop in a peaceful environment.

Coles trialled Quiet Hour earlier this year in partnership with Autism Spectrum Australia and found the trial to be so successful that the supermarket giant is implementing Quiet Hour permanently from 10:30am to 11:30am every Tuesday in 68 of its stores nationally.

How will Quiet Hour work?

Quiet Hour will see the lights in stores dimmed to 50 per cent, and noise levels will be reduced with registers and speakers turned to the lowest volume, PA announcements will be restricted to emergency only situations and trained staff will be available to assist customers with their needs.

Coles have created a low-sensory shopping experience to make shopping easier where before doing a grocery shop could be quite a difficult experience for families with members with autism. Another positive change includes free fruit handed out to customers during Quiet Hour to make the experience even more enjoyable.

Why are Coles supporting this autism friendly shopping initiative?

Coles accessibility sponsor Peter Sheehan said the supermarket are always looking for ways to improve customer experience and the success of the trial in two of their stores earlier this year confirmed that Quiet Hour was going to make shopping a more comfortable exercise for families and individuals with sensory related issues.

“We were really pleased to receive a positive response from our customers and team members, who welcomed Quiet Hour and provided feedback on social media. It’s fantastic to hear that the changes we made in store during the trial had helped to make a real difference to our customers’ shopping experience at Coles,” said Mr Sheehan.

“Our team members at participating stores are enthusiastic about the initiative and look forward to offering Quiet Hour to their customers who might benefit from the experience.”

Where will Quiet Hour take place?

Quiet Hour locations have been carefully selected in conjunction with Autism Spectrum Australia to ensure that it is accessible broadly across Australia.

See the list below to find your nearest participating Coles store.

New South Wales

• Banora Point
• Bega
• Brighton-Le-Sands
• Caringbah
• Castle Hill
• Epping
• Goulburn
• Inverell
• Kings Langley
• Lisarow
• Manly Vale
• Medowie
• Moss Vale
• Old Bar
• Pyrmont
• Ulladulla
• Wadalba
• Warners Bay
• Wattle Grove
• Wellington

Queensland

• Cairns Central
• Caloundra
• Cleveland
• Everton Park
• Helensvale
• Kippa Ring
• Marsden
• Maryborough
• Mt Gravatt
• Mudgeeraba
• Newfarm
• Rockhampton South
• Toowoomba
• Townsville Annandale

South Australia

• Anzac Highway
• Mount Barker
• Park Holme
• Port Pirie
• Tea Tree Plaza

Northern Territory

• Casuarina – Bradshaw St

Victoria

• Altona Meadows
• Balwyn East
• Belmont
• Benalla
• Brandon Park
• Brighton
• Brunswick West
• Burnside
• Cranbourne West
• Eltham
• Essendon Fields
• Ferntree Gully
• Fitzroy
• Langwarrin
• Newtown
• Pakenham Lakeside
• Prahran
• Ringwood
• Wendouree

Western Australia

• Erskine
• Floreat
• Hillarys
• Kalgoorlie
• Margaret River
• Mundaring
• South Lakes
• Southern River

Does your child or loved one have Autism Spectrum Disorder? Have you trialled the quiet hour initiative? We’d love to hear your story. Or for more reading about Autism Spectrum Disorder, find more of our posts here.

Amanda Nicholls

About the Author:

Amanda is the Editor in Chief of Entertain My Tribe and Kids Party Guide. Amanda has done everything from being a magazine editor to a newspaper journalist. She lives in the Blue Mountains with her tribe (husband and two daughters). You can follow her on Entertain My Tribe’s Facebook or Kid’s Party Guide’s Facebook.

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