Families of children with autism will have the stores exclusively to themselves and adapted to their needs.
Every Toys R Us store will open up for one hour exclusively for parents and carers of children with autism and additional needs. The event, taking place on Sunday 6th November, will see lights dimmed, fluorescent lighting reduced, music and Tannoy announcements switched off and autism-friendly signing introduced. A quiet zone will also be available for anyone needing to take some time out.
To save parents having to wait with their children, they are also being offered the opportunity to return later that morning to pay for shopping.
Mike Coogan, Toys R Us marketing and ecommerce director, said: “Holding such events has given our teams extreme pride in reaching out to autism groups within the community. Making slight adjustments to stores and creating a quiet shopping period allows children and young adults to experience the fun in a toy shop, regardless of their disability.”
Daniel Cadey, autism access manager for the National Autistic Society, added: “We’re 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. Simple changes like this can make a huge difference to the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and to their families, and we hope that many more major retailers will follow the great example set by Toys R Us.”
The first event of its kind was held in 2014 and initiated by Toys R Us Leeds in collaboration with Victoria Holdsworth, founder of local autism group Autism Friendly UK.