The Entertainer is switching off music for a calmer Christmas shopping experience throughout December with its Christmas Quiet Hour.
The busy Christmas shopping season is upon us and whilst many enjoy the Yuletide rush, others find the increased number of people, sounds and lights overwhelming and stressful.
In order to make Christmas shopping accessible for everyone, The Entertainer has introduced a Christmas Quiet Hour taking place every day in its 171 stores across the country. The initiative 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 undertaken additional training to help them support customers who may be overwhelmed by the sensory overload that Christmas shopping can be for many. The Entertainer will be turning off its Christmas songs and dimming the lights wherever possible for an hour a day.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer, said: “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. 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: “There are 700,000 autistic people in the UK and their needs aren’t always immediately obvious. We know a basic understanding and small changes like quiet hours could transform the lives of autistic people and their families, allowing them to take part in activities many people can take for granted.”
The Entertainer’s Christmas Quiet Hour will be in operation for the first hour of trading at each store from Monday 2nd December to Tuesday 31st December.
To find out more about the National Autistic Society’s visit: www.autism.org.uk