Walmart Now Holds ‘Sensory-Friendly’ Shopping Hours for Shoppers Who Don’t Like Noise
Until August 26, Walmart has instituted sensory-friendly shopping hours on Saturday mornings from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM in their stores.
Walmart is proud and excited to offer “a quieter shopping environment that’s more enjoyable for customers who live with sensory disabilities” during the back-to-school shopping season.
If you visit your local Walmart on Saturday between the hours of 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM this August, you will find a much calmer environment.
The fluorescent lighting throughout the store will be dimmed low, all radios and announcements will be off, and the many TV screens in the electronics section will be set with stationary as opposed to moving images.
These Changes Are Significant For Children & Adults with Disabilities
According to a study published by “Autism in Adulthood,” supermarkets are the most disabling environments for people with sensory disabilities. And as many of us know, children with sensory issues also struggle in bright and loud places as it becomes extremely difficult for them to self-regulate.
Walmart’s sensory-friendly hours could really change the lives of many people and families who struggle to shop because of the intensity of the experience.
Anyone Can Benefit from the Softer Shopping Experience Sensory-Friendly Hours Provide
While these changes and specifically sensory-friendly hours could certainly be life-changing for many people with disabilities, it’s also important to note that even those who can handle a standard shopping experience could actually prefer the atmosphere Walmart has created on Saturday mornings.
One Walmart shopper said it perfectly, “I don’t have a sensory disability, but I found shopping during the sensory-friendly hours a calmer experience overall.”
Will Other Stores Take Note and Offer the Same Service?
Walmart isn’t the only retailer currently making changes to assist in creating a more comfortable shopping experience. However, because Walmart is such a huge company, this decision could encourage other big-box retailers to make similar adjustments.
Many people who have a loved one with disabilities, have one themselves, or even those who just struggle to shop due to the overwhelming stimulation are excited about the prospect of this change coming to retail.