Eight of our stores in and around Manchester are trying out an 'inclusive hour' to help customers with autism and dementia and others who struggle with loud noise.
As part of the new Purple Tuesday initiative we'll be turning off displays, tannoy announcements and other noises from 10am-11am every Tuesday at our stores in Ashton Queens Road, Atherton, Cheadle Hulme, Hazel Grove, Marple, Pendlebury, Rochdale Kingsway and Stockport Belmont.
It's a cause particularly close to the heart of our Marple store's manager Simon Lea, who made headlines back in 2016 when he introduced a 'quiet hour' when he was at our Manchester Living store after watching the experiences of a customer with her autistic child in the store.
He said: "If we can make a few small changes to give these customers a better shopping experience and make them comfortable, then I know the store will be a better place to shop for everyone."
We've worked closely with local charities and authorities to see what more we can do to improve the shopping experience and teamed up with the Alzheimer's Society to provide dementia awareness training to colleagues in the stores.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: "We hear too often from people with dementia that once simple things like popping to the shops can become almost impossible as their symptoms worsen, and certain environments can be increasingly difficult to deal with.
"As 850,000 people have dementia across the UK, it’s vital businesses ensure they are taking steps to become dementia friendly and these customers are supported to feel included in their local community.
"It is great to have Asda on board with this and we hope this paves the way for us to work together more closely in the future."
The stores involved are:
- Ashton Queens Road
- Cheadle Hulme
- Hazel Grove
- Rochdale Kingsway
- Stockport Belmont
Find out more about Purple Tuesday here.