Woolworths rolls out 'quiet time' on Tuesday mornings

Quiet time: Life Without Barriers executive lead Chris Chippendale (second from right) with Woolworths staff. Three stores in St George and Sutherland Shire will aim to reduce noise for customers for one hour each week.
Quiet time: Life Without Barriers executive lead Chris Chippendale (second from right) with Woolworths staff. Three stores in St George and Sutherland Shire will aim to reduce noise for customers for one hour each week.

A code of silence will hush over Woolworths stores every Tuesday from 10.30am-11.30am.

The 'quiet hour' idea will be rolled out across three stores in St George and Sutherland Shire - Rockdale, Engadine and Caringbah, following a successful trial period in NSW and the ACT.

The idea is to offer a low-sensory experience to shoppers, and reduce anxiety particularly for customers with specific needs including autism.

By providing a less stimulating environment in store, it is hoped the initiative will become a bit like 'happy hour' - without the drinks.

Staff will lower lights, turns down music and turn off oven buzzers during this time. The volume on store phones and cash registers will be lowered, roll cages will be removed from shop floors and there will be no PA announcements, excluding in an emergency.

The program was developed in consultation with disability service providers at Life Without Barriers, and recognises that people have different accessibility needs.

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