Gary Grant, founder and chairman of The Entertainer, is calling on British retailers and shopping centres to offer improved in-store support to autistic shoppers.
Saturday 6th October saw the start of The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour, an initiative sponsored by The Entertainer and designed to show businesses the simple steps they can take to improve the shopping experience for its autistic customers.
The Entertainer joined 5,000 retail outlets that supported The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour in 2017 and successfully implemented its own Quiet Hour initiative earlier this year, which now sees every one of its stores turn off its music and take active steps to minimise all noise, including toy demonstrations, and where possible dim the lights, for the first hour of trading every Saturday and during the school holidays. Following positive customer feedback and seeing the huge impact such a small change made to its autistic shoppers, The Entertainer came on board as the official sponsor for Autism Hour 2018, to raise awareness and encourage other retailers to make similar efforts to provide a more comfortable shopping experience for Autistic shoppers and their families.
Gary is now calling on all retailers – regardless of size – to support Autism Hour and consider regular adaptations to their store environments to accommodate those shoppers that require a calmer shopping experience.
Gary commented: “I’m delighted to hear that 10,000 retail outlets will participate in Autism Hour this year but there is more that can be done to support our Autistic shoppers and their families. We have a responsibility as retailers to create a more comfortable shopping environment for those with sensory needs. Autism Hour is a great time for retailers to see how simple these changes can be to implement and how significant the impact is for Autistic shoppers and their families. So, I’m calling on other retailers to support Autism Hour and to look at making this a regular commitment by introducing a Quiet Hour into the normal weekly cycle of retail, as we have done with our weekly Quiet Hour.”