Walmart has announced that it will be bringing sensory-friendly shopping hours to all of its stores, every day of the week.
The retailer piloted these special hours during back-to-school shopping, but they were limited just to Saturdays.
Now, as holiday shopping is ramping up, Walmart will have sensory-friendly hours every single day, at all stores, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. local time.
“Earlier this year, we took a step in making shopping in our stores more inclusive for those with sensory disabilities by taking measures to create a less stimulating environment for a couple of hours each Saturday,” the company wrote in a statement.
“We changed the TV walls to a static image, turned off the radio, and lowered the lights where possible. These changes may have seemed small to some, but for others, they transformed the shopping experience.”
Listening to consumers’ needs
After testing out sensory-friendly hours for one day a week during the back-to-school season, Walmart has decided to listen to its customers. The company explained that the large majority of feedback it received has been geared towards bringing back sensory-friendly shopping hours.
The change went into effect on November 10, and currently, there is no end in sight for this more inclusive shopping experience. All Walmart stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will follow the new sensory-friendly schedule.
The goal is to make the shopping experience more comfortable for consumers with sensory disabilities. Less noise, lowered lighting and fewer flashing images around the store will make it easier for all shoppers to make the most of their shopping trips.
“In our stores during sensory-friendly hours, customers will have a calmer shopping experience,” Walmart’s COO Cedric Clark said in a statement to Good Morning America. “Where we’re able, our stores will turn off the radio, change our TV screens to still images and dim the lights.
“We’re always open to more feedback from our customers and associates, and listen to what else can help create a less stimulating environment during those times.”