Signage at a Coles supermarket in Sydney,
Signage at a Coles supermarket in Sydney,

Big change coming to Coles for parents

EXCLUSIVE: Coles is expanding its Quiet Hour nationally across its stores to help customers who find it difficult to do their grocery shop.

In a statement to News Corp Australia, Coles said Quiet Hour will now be offered at 256 Coles supermarkets, tripling the number of stores where customers can access it.

From today, 79 extra stores will offer the low-sensory shopping experience every Tuesday between 10.30am and 11.30am.

The concept, which was first trialled in 2017, came after David Brinkley, a customer from Victoria, first raised it with Coles.

Mr Brinkley suggested it would help reduce noise at his local Coles store in Healesville to make it easier for parents shopping with children who are on the autism spectrum.

After Coles partnered with Autism Spectrum Australia, Quiet Hour was slowly rolled to stores.

Coles’ Quiet Hour is expanding across Australia. Picture: Supplied
Coles’ Quiet Hour is expanding across Australia. Picture: Supplied

 

During Quiet Hour at Coles:

• Lighting is reduced throughout the store

• Coles Radio is switched off

• Register and scanner volumes are reduced to the lowest level

• No trolley collections occur and roll cages are removed from the shop floor

• No PA announcements are made, excluding emergencies

• Free fruit is offered at customer service

• Trained team members are around to support customers

Coles Accessibility Sponsor Peter Sheean said Coles had received an overwhelmingly positive response to Quiet Hour from customers, who said it made a real difference to their shopping experience at Coles.

"We know that it is estimated that one in 70 people in Australia are on the spectrum, so that's a lot of our customers who find it challenging to come into our supermarket," he said.

"Our goal is to offer Quiet Hour at every eligible Coles supermarket by 2023. Unfortunately not all supermarkets currently have the ability or technology to offer Quiet Hour at their store due to control of lighting or audio and store locations.

 

Australia's second-biggest grocery chain, Coles. Picture: AAP
Australia's second-biggest grocery chain, Coles. Picture: AAP

 

"However, we are working hard with our store teams to retrofit technology into those stores particularly where we've had feedback that customers want to access Quiet Hour as part of their shopping."

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) National Manager Aspect Practice and Clinical Psychologist Dr Tom Tutton said Coles' Quiet Hour initiative can make enormous differences to people on the autism spectrum and their families.

"People on the autism spectrum can have heightened sensory awareness which makes shopping in a store with bright lights, loud music, unexpected voiceovers and the constant noise of cash registers, incredibly overwhelming," he said.

"These small changes make a significant difference and highlight the importance of businesses becoming more aware of their customers' needs."

COLES STORES OFFERING QUIET HOUR FROM TODAY: 

(NB - No new Queensland stores are listed yet, see the current list of Quiet Hour stores in Queensland below).

 

NSW

Broken Hill

Wagga Wagga

Tumut

Batemans Bay

Eden

Deniliquin

Lake Macquarie Fair

 

 

ACT

Chisholm

Manuka

Tuggeranong

 

 

VICTORIA

Sebastopol

Warrnambool North

Hamilton

Craigieburn

Kangaroo Flat

Roxburgh Park

Keilor

Melton South

Taylors Hill

Moonee Ponds

Braybrook

Airport West

Wodonga Plaza

Myrtleford

Diamond Creek

Mill Park Lakes

Lalor Plaza

Drouin

Sale

Cardinia Lakes

Croydon North

Mooroolbark

Healesville

Springvale

Knox

Patterson Lakes

Somerville

Carrum Downs

Lynbrook

Spring Hill

Berwick Central

Reservoir

Northcote

Kingsbury

Collingwood

Coburg

Malvern

Richmond Icon

Bulleen

Vermont South

Doncaster

Mentone

Sandringham

Hampton

Corio Village

Lara

Tarneit Central

Footscray

 

 

SA

Firle

St Agnes

Murray Bridge Green

Reynella

Noarlunga

Port Lincoln

Edwardstown

Aldinga Beach

Kurralta Park

Mt Gambier

St Clair

Churchill Centre

Whyalla

Gawler Green

 

 

NT

Palmerston

 

 

TASMANIA

Sorell

Kingston

Mowbray

Burnie

Ulverstone

Wellington Street

 

COLES STORES WHERE QUIET HOUR EXISTS:

 

NSW

Manly Vale

Warriewood

Manly Peninsula

CastleHill

Rouse Hill

Lane Cove

West Pennant Hills

Epping

North Rocks

Miranda

Caringbah

Illawong

Earlwood

Randwick

Brighton-Le-Sands

Edgecliff

East Village

Pyrmont

Gladesville

Leichhardt

Birkenhead Point

Burwood

Concord

Camden

Green Valley

Wattle Grove

Edensor Park

Wetherill Park

Macquarie Fields

Chipping Norton

Macarthur Square

Moss Vale

Kings Langley

Winston Hills

Lithgow

Bathurst

Wellington

Cowra

Mudgee

Narromine

Parkes

Figtree

Ulladulla

Corrimal

Helensburgh

Wollongong

Vincentia

Grafton Shoppingworld

Murwillumbah

Yamba

Banora Point

Inverell

Gunnedah

Tenterfield

Tamworth

Old Bar

Lake Innes

Laurieton

Wallsend

Tanilba Bay

Tea Gardens

Medowie

Newcastle Junction

Cessnock

Warners Bay

Glendale

Jewelstown

The Entrance

Belmont

Bateau Bay

Wadalba

Green Point

Umina Beach

Lisarow

Goulburn

Griffith

Bega

 

 

QLD

Earlville

Mareeba

Cairns Central

Townsville The Willows

Townsville Annandale

Northern Beaches

Rockhampton South

Cannonvale

Yeppoon

Hervey Bay

Tannum Sands

Maryborough

Kawana Waters

Caloundra

Peregian Springs

Bray Park

Kippa Ring

Fairfield

Cleveland

Morningside

Everton Park

Ascot

Ferny Grove

The Gap

Newfarm

Mt Ommaney

Mt Gravatt

Jindalee

Marsden

Browns Plains

Springfield Orion

Waterford

Goondiwindi

Toowoomba

Ipswich

Mt Warren Park

Hope Island

Helensvale

Benowa Village

Nerang

Mudgeeraba

 

 

SA

Berri

Tea Tree Plaza

Parkholme

Anzac Highway

Port Pirie

Mount Barker

 

NT

Casuarina Bradshaw

 

ACT

Woden Plaza

 

VICTORIA

Pakenham Lakeside

Ferntree Gully

Ringwood

Brandon Park

Langwarrin

Cranbourne West

Fitzroy

Brunswick West

Prahran

Balwyn East

Brighton

Belmont

Altona Meadows

Wendouree

Benalla

Burnside

Eltham

Essendon Fields

 

 

TASMANIA

Newtown

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Dunsborough

Margaret River

Australind

Collie

Baldivis

Erskine

Meadow Springs

Southern River

North Armadale

Gosnells

South Lakes

Fremantle

Melville

Southlands

Kardinya

Caversham

Mundaring

Maylands

Swan View

Ellenbrook

Floreat

Scarborough

Brighton Village

Alexander Heights

Hillarys

Ocean Keys

Kalgoorlie

Tom Price

Kalgoorlie (Hannans)

Geraldton

Karratha



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