Asda has announced a major change to its shopping hours and millions of customers will be affected by the new rules.
Asda has announced plans to introduce a special shopping hour dedicated to its more vulnerable customers.
Between the hour of 2pm and 3pm the supermarket will dedicate a ‘quieter’ shopping time to customers who have a hidden disability from Mondays to Thursdays so that they can shop with ease.
The supermarket chain, which earlier this year announced it was selling Missguided clothing in store, is launching a more touching gesture for its shoppers following similar initiatives in other supermarket stores.
As part of the quieter hour, Asda will dim the lighting, lower the volume of its in-store music, and with less footfall, shoppers will be able to have more of a relaxing shopping experience in-store and help those customers who may have hidden disabilities, cope better while doing their weekly shop.
Asda chief supply chain officer and exec sponsor for disability, Mark Simpson, said, “There are an estimated 14.1 million people with a disability living in the UK, and 80 per cent of disabilities are hidden, so we hope that by introducing quieter times for customers to shop we will be able to make our stores more welcoming and inclusive for customers with additional needs.”
Asda has also given extra training for more than 85,000 colleagues to help better serve disabled customers through the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme.
And the initiative has been praised by shoppers.
One customer tweeted, ‘Well done Asda for introducing the Quiet Hour between 2pm-3pm Monday to Thursday for people with Hidden Disabilities.’
Another shopper previously asked, ‘Can you warn people some minutes before you end quiet hour that it is about to end and the lights will go on full glare etc again soon. Give us a chance to acclimatise/escape. Thanks. #Glare #shopping #ActuallyAutistic #ND.’
And a third customer added, ‘I love the idea of @asda quiet hour. I suffer from chronic vestibular migraine and shopping in a supermarket is impossible because of the noise and visual stimuli effects on my brain. #inclusion #migrainetwitter #migraine #disabilityinclusion #chronicillness.’
But that’s not all, Asda has also revealed it is sponsoring Purple Tuesday 365 too – which is an annual learning subscription service that helps organisations and their colleagues to access knowledge, and practical approaches to provide better everyday experiences for disabled people and their families.
The scheme will hopefully make shopping in the run-up to Christmas and beyond, a lot less stressful.