Toys R Us branches across the UK will be holding a quiet shopping hour to help children and adults with autism and other special needs.
Back in May, a Manchester branch of supermarket giant Asda introduced a similar quiet hour to provide a more peaceful shopping environment for customers prone to over-stimulation.
Toys R Us said: “On the morning of Sunday 6th November, we will be opening our stores with altered conditions within the stores, to offer families affected by autism and additional needs a calm environment to fully enjoy browsing and discovering Christmas gift ideas.
“To ensure a successful and enjoyable event is achieved in every store, lights will be slightly dimmed and fluorescent lighting reduced where possible. Music and Tannoy announcements will be switched off during the event, and autism friendly signage will be utilised to offer a more calming influence. There will also be a quiet zone available should the need arise.”
Daniel Cadey, autism access manager for the National Autistic Society, commented in the Telegraph: “For many autistic people and their families a simple trip to the shops, which should be an enjoyable experience, can be fraught with difficulty.
“Autistic children and adults can become overwhelmed with too much information inside a busy store.
“Things like artificial lighting and loud Tannoy announcements can increase their anxiety and be completely overwhelming, even causing them physical pain.
“So we are delighted that Toys R Us is again showing the way by hosting an autism friendly shopping event in every Toys R Us store in the lead up to Christmas.
Toys R Us quiet shopping hour times:
England and Wales 10am to 11*am,
Scotland 9am to 10*am,
Northern Ireland 12am to 1*pm.
*Some Toys R Us shopping centres may opt for a different end time. For more information on your local event, please contact your local Toys R Us store: http://toysrus.co.uk/toys/locator.”