// The Entertainer introduces Christmas Quiet Hour to take place in all of its 171 stores
// Initiative is primarily aimed to create a calmer shopping environment for autistic people
// The Entertainer will switch off music and dim lights for a calmer Christmas shopping experience throughout December
The Entertainer is introducing a Christmas Quiet Hour across its stores to help make shopping more accessible during the peak and often frantic festive season.
The initiative aims to create a calmer shopping environment for autistic people and for any shoppers who find the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping an uncomfortable experience.
Taking place across its 171-strong store estate in the UK, The Entertainer will switch off music and dim lights for one hour each day in order to create a calmer Christmas shopping experience throughout December.
Store staff at the toy retailer have undertaken additional training to help them support customers who may be overwhelmed by the sensory overload that Christmas shopping can be for some.
Research from the National Autistic Society found that 50 per cent of autistic people and their families sometimes avoid going out because of concern about people’s reaction to their autism.
The charity also found that 28 per cent have been asked to leave a public space because of behaviours related to their autism.
“We all know that shopping during the festive season can be stressful as shops turn up the music and bring as much festive cheer and theatre to the store to entice shoppers in, which is great but it’s not for everyone,” The Entertainer founder Gary Grant said.
“So this year we’re doing something very different – for the first hours’ trading each day there will be no music playing, our lights will be dimmed wherever possible and our stores will be made to feel calmer for our Christmas Quiet Hour.
“This is to show our continued support for autistic people and their families and for those who find shopping during the festive season stressful and overwhelming. We hope that it helps make Christmas shopping enjoyable for everyone.”
The Entertainer’s Christmas Quiet Hour will be in operation for the first hour of trading at each store until December 31.