DISCOUNT shop Home Bargains has introduced a weekly quiet hour to create a calmer environment for shoppers with autism.
The quiet shopping hour takes place every Saturday between 9am and 10am across all of its 500 stores, including the Swindon branch in Barnfield Road.
During the hour, music will be turned off and the tannoy will only be used for urgent announcements.
The initiative was created in conjunction with The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for autistic people, which has advised on creating the ideal environment for shoppers with autism.
Those who suffer from autism can find loud noises and sudden movements distressing.
Joe Morris, operations director at Home Bargains, said: “We have introduced the Quiet Hour to add a peaceful element to retail therapy.
“Home Bargains stores can be busy places, which can be potentially overwhelming for people with autism, especially at this time of year.
“We have created the quieter and calmer environment to enable all of our customers to have an enjoyable and relaxing shopping experience.
“We will continually assess where we can support each and every one of our 5 million weekly shoppers, whatever their situation.”
Tom Purser, head of campaigns at the National Autistic Society, said he hoped more shops would be inspired by the move.