A New Zealand supermarket chain puts an end to music and bright lights - at least for an hour a week. With the so-called "Quiet Hour" (German: silence hour), the company wants to attract customers.
From the end of October onwards, every 180 stores will switch off the radio every Wednesday for an hour, for example, and dampen the light. This was announced by the company Countdown. Employees should only reduce shelves and reduce the volume at the cash desks. In addition, there will be no speaker announcements except in emergencies.
The initiative was started with the support of a local Autism Association after an employee with an autistic child had the idea of "Quiet Hour". The company ran a test run in some stores before deciding to expand the action.
According to the CDC, people with an autism spectrum disorder may have "unusual reactions" to touch, smell, sounds, visual stimuli, and taste. For example, they could under- or overreact to a loud noise.