Walmart recently announced the return of sensory-friendly shopping hours which provide a more inclusive environment for customers with sensory disabilities. Starting from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day, nationwide, the retail giant will make shopping a little easier for customers who get overstimulated, according to news channel Fox59.
About 1 in 36 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and over 6 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the CDC. Walmart sensory shopping hours affects a lot of people and is a big step forward for inclusivity.
Walmart initially introduced these sensory-friendly hours during the back-to-school season. The adjustments included turning off the overhead radio, changing instore TV walls to a static image, and dimming lights. The result? A quieter and less-stimulating shopping experience that employees and customers appreciated.
Tyler Morgan, a Walmart store manager, said, “We have associates with autism, ADHD, etc. in the store, and one associate made the comment that this is the first time the company did something just for him.”
“I know we could all use some calm during the stressful holiday season, so I hope this program can continue,” he added.
Everyone knows that the holiday season can be super hectic. Whether you’re trying your best to save some money and score a great deal on gifts while inflation runs rampant or you need some shopping therapy to make everyone’s wish lists come true, a zen shopping experience can be the break you need this holiday season. Business initiatives like this one help bring back the holiday magic and take some of the stress away.
The retail giant mentioned that there is no end date for this program and that they are open to feedback on how to better serve their customers.
This move by Walmart sets a precedent for other retailers to follow. It underlines the importance of inclusivity in public spaces and reiterates that a little empathy can go a long way to make our communities more accessible. Inclusivity is a win for everyone because it creates an environment for everyone.
If you have neurodiverse kids who are along for the ride to pick out gifts for their siblings or you’re a neurodiverse parent, the Walmart sensory shopping hours can help make holiday shopping so much easier.