Discount retailer Home Bargains has introduced a “Quiet Hour” in its stores to help create an easier shopping experience for its shoppers living with autism.
The initiative, which is being done in conjunction with British charity National Autistic Society, aims to stop all music played in Home Bargains stores each Saturday between 9am-10am.
“We have introduced the Quiet Hour to add a peaceful element to retail therapy,” Home Bargains operations director Joe Morris said.
“Home Bargains stores can be busy places, which can be potentially overwhelming for people with autism, especially at this time of year.
“We will continually assess where we can support each and every one of our five million weekly shoppers, whatever their situation.”
National Autistic Society head of campaigns Tom Purser said: “We are very pleased to hear that Home Bargains is introducing a quiet hour into its stores to make shopping a little easier for autistic people and their families.
“We hear from autistic people and their families that shops and other public spaces can be challenging because of bright lights, strong smells and crowds or queues, all of which can cause them to feel overwhelmed.
“Our research shows that 64 per cent of autistic people avoid the shops and 28 per cent have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated with their autism.”