Retailer turning off Christmas songs and dimming the lights for an hour a day.
The Entertainer has launched its Christmas Quiet Hour, which will see the toy retailer turning off its Christmas songs and dimming the lights wherever possible for an hour a day.
The initiative – taking place in all 171 stores across the country – aims to create a calmer shopping environment for autistic people and for any shoppers who find the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping an uncomfortable experience.
Store staff have also undertaken additional training to help them support customers who may be overwhelmed by the sensory overload that Christmas shopping can be for many.
“We all know that shopping during the festive season can be stressful as shops turn up the music and bring as much festive cheer and theatre to the store to entice shoppers in, which is great but it’s not for everyone,” said Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer. “So this year we’re doing something very different – for the first hours’ trading each day there will be no music playing, our lights will be dimmed wherever possible and our stores will be made to feel calmer for our Christmas Quiet Hour.
“This is to show our continued support for autistic people and their families and for those who find shopping during the festive season stressful and overwhelming. We hope that it helps make Christmas shopping enjoyable for everyone.”
Tom Purser, head of campaigns at the National Autistic Society, added: “We are delighted that our Autism Hour sponsor The Entertainer is introducing Christmas Quiet Hours to make shopping a little easier for autistic people and their families at one of the busiest times of the year.
“We hope more shops will be inspired by The Entertainer and do their bit to help make sure autistic people and their families have the same opportunities as everyone else.”
The Entertainer’s Christmas Quiet Hour will be in operation for the first hour of trading at each store until Tuesday December 31.