Coles Quiet Hour at Cessnock among other Australian stores

SHOPPING with children can be difficult for any parent.

But, when you have children who find it challenging to shop in a heightened sensory environment, it’s a whole new level.

After trialing Quiet Hour at chosen NSW stores earlier this year, Coles has expanded the low sensory shopping experience from 20 locations to 76, including Cessnock.

Every Tuesday, from 10.30am to 11.30am, customers will be able to shop in a calm environment.

According to Coles, the trial received an overwhelmingly positive response from the community.

Coles’ Quiet Hour promotes reduced noise, lighting and distractions instore, making it easier for customers who find it challenging to shop in a heightened sensory environment.

“We’ve listened to our customers and have worked hard to make our stores more welcoming and responsive to the needs of the local communities in which we operate,” Coles state general manager Reagan Lauder said.

“We initially started with 18 Quiet Hour stores in New South Wales and we’re thrilled to be increasing this figure to almost fourfold to make Quiet Hour more accessible for our customers and help make a difference to their shopping experience at Coles.”

In August 2017, Coles partnered with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to trial Quiet Hour at two Victorian stores (Ringwood and Balwyn East) to support customers who are, or have family members, on the autism spectrum.

The Cessnock store is one of 173 in Australia now offering the low-sensory experience.

Quiet Hour changes include reduced lighting, no Coles Radio, and register and scanner volumes reduced to the lowest level.

Customer service will offer free fruit, and there will be additional team members available to support.

This story Coles Quiet Hour comes to Cessnock first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.

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