Walmart's 'Sensory-friendly' Shopping Hours Are Being Enjoyed By Shoppers
The Walmart's 'sensory-friendly' shoppinghours are being enjoyed by shoppers. When combined with blasting music, in-store announcements, and bright lighting, shopping may be quite daunting.
Walmart is now experimenting with a new type of buying experience, one that simplifies all of these aspects of the purchasing process. For the duration of the back-to-school shopping season, Walmart will have sensory-friendly shopping hours at most of its shops on Saturday mornings.
Walmart stated that the shopping hours were implemented as part of their attempts to provide "a quieter shopping environment that is more enjoyable for customers who live with sensory disabilities."
On Saturday mornings between the hours of 8:00 and 10:00, the radios in the store are switched off, the televisions are muted and configured to display static pictures, and the lights are turned down. The program began in July and will continue through the 26th of August.
Walmart creates 'sensory-friendly' hours for calmer back-to-school shopping
It's possible that the modifications made during these store hours will be especially helpful for customers who have impairments. However, even customers who do not have impairments may find that the sensory hours create a more relaxing atmosphere in which to shop.
The only sounds that could be heard were the intermittent conversations of personnel, the beeps produced by the scanners when customers scanned their products at the checkout counters, and the carts that employees rolled about the shop.
The radio in the store did not play any music or announcements, and when you walk through the portion of the store devoted to electronics, you will notice that the computer displays were blank, and the televisions were muted and only exhibited photos with writing that read: "During these hours you'll experience a calmer shopping environment."
When your five senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste) take in more information than your brain is able to handle, you are said to be experiencing sensory overload. When your brain is overwhelmed by this input, it enters fight, flight, or freeze mode as a response to what feels like a crisis, making you feel unsafe or even panicky.
An individual may experience sensory overload as a response to a wide range of stimuli, including sights or sounds. It's possible that various things make different people feel overwhelmed. Instances such as the following are some instances of scenarios that might lead to sensory overload:
- Loud noises or music
- Crowded spaces
- Emotionally intense people or groups
- Drastic environmental changes (temperature, light, etc.)
- Unexpected or unwanted physical contact (hugs, etc.)
- Heavy traffic
- Tactile triggers (scratchy or uncomfortable clothing, etc.)
- Intense smells
Despite the fact that everyone is capable of experiencing sensory overload, persons with autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sensory processing disorder, and certain other disorders are more likely to be affected by it.
There are other stores than Walmart that are also beginning to implement sensory-friendly hours. In conjunction with the Autism Society, AMC Theaters provides a regular schedule of films that are designed to be sensory-friendly.
During these showings, the theater's lights are turned up, and the volume level is lowered down. Chuck E. Cheese has a program called "Sensory Sensitive Sundays," during which the restaurant opens early and makes accommodations such as reducing the volume of the music and the brightness of the lights.
According to TikToker, the Canadian grocery retailer Save-On-Foods likewise provides consumers with shopping hours that are sensory-friendly.