M&S introduces sensory shopping hour in all stores nationwide
A welcome move.
For parents of children with sensory issues or Autism, the prospect of going grocery shopping can be rather daunting. Crowds, music, noise and bright lights can cause many of these children to become stressed, over-stimulated and experience sensory overload.
Sensory sensitivity is experienced by children and adults with Autism, who can be overwhelmed and experience sensory overload in certain situations, brought on by sounds, sights and smells amongst other things.
This, it goes without saying, can impact the entire family.
The good news? M&S recently introduced a sensory shopping hour in all their stores in the Republic of Ireland, allowing customers with with sensory issues to shop in a calm, quiet environment with lower lighting. The service, which will take place every Sunday morning from 10AM - 11AM, sees the lights dimmed, the tills quiet and assistance dogs welcomed into all M&S stores.
During the dedicated sensory shopping hour, staff are aware of customers extra needs and shelves will not be re-filled during the service.
It goes without saying that to parents of children with sensory issues or autism, this move will make an everyday situation a lot easier.
Patricia O’Leary, who pioneered the first Sensory Friendly shopping experience in Clonakilty spoke about the move on her Facebook page Autism Friendly Shopping Cork
“I am pleased to announce that Marks & Spencer are now Sensory Friendly in all 18 stores in the Republic of Ireland. All stores have now been trained in Autism awareness, lights dimmed, music and paging system turned off. Shop, relax in the restaurant or just stroll around the store and experience the difference for yourself. All feedback and comments welcome.”