Toy retailer extends initiative through first week of re-opening in over 150 stores across England and Wales.
The Entertainer has confirmed a 12 April re-opening for its stores in England and Wales, while also revealing it will be extending its Quiet Hours initiative for those wanting a quieter shopping experience.
To make the return to shops accessible for everyone, The Entertainer has extended its Quiet Hours to take place throughout the first week of re-opening – 12-17 April – in over 150 stores across England and Wales.
The initiative aims to create a calmer shopping environment for autistic people, as well as any shoppers who may find the return to the high street a stressful experience.
All stores will be turning off store music and dimming the lights for the first hour of trading each day, while store teams have access to training to help them support customers should they become overwhelmed in-store.
Research from the National Autistic Society found that 64% of autistic people and their carers avoid the shops all together and that sadly over a quarter (28%) have been asked to leave a public space for reasons associated to their autism.
“Shopping and returning into busy areas can be challenging for those who find the hustle and bustle, lighting and noise uncomfortable,” commented Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman at The Entertainer. “So, in our ongoing commitment to making our stores accessible to all, our Quiet Hours will be returning throughout the first week of reponing. For the first hour of opening each day we will switch off the music, dim the lights wherever possible and aim to make our stores feel calmer.
“This is to show our continued support for our autistic customers and their families and for those who find the retail environment more challenging, particularly in a time of so much change.”
The Quiet Hours will be in operation for the first hour of opening at each reopened store throughout 12-17 April and will continue every Saturday morning from there, in-line with current operations.