intu Derby launches ‘quiet hour’ to soothe shoppers

intu Derby has introduced a regular quiet hour for shoppers living with conditions such as autism and anxiety, the centre has announced.

The scheme, which will be rolled out from Monday 1 April, will see over 100 stores turn off music, reduce tannoy announcements, and dim lighting where possible, to help create a calmer and more peaceful environment in centre. 

Visitors will also be able to use noise-reducing ear defenders, available to borrow from Customer Services, as well as a visual guide to further ease the shopping experience.

Each store will also ensure specially trained staff are available throughout quiet hour to provide additional assistance where needed.

Taking place every Monday to Saturday from 9am to 10am, retailers participating in quiet hour include Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys, JD Sports, Topshop and Boots.

intu Derby hopes the initiative will make the centre more accessible to visitors who might be overwhelmed by a typical shopping experience, whether that is due to sensory overload or a phobia of busy public spaces. 

Adam Tamsett, general manager at intu Derby, said: “We are proud to introduce intu Derby’s daily quiet hour, something which we are sure will make a real difference to many of our visitor’s shopping experience. We know that busy public spaces can sometimes prove challenging for people, because of factors such as bright lights, loud noises, or crowded areas.

“We are delighted to see so many stores get on board with the scheme, with over 100 of our retailers taking part, and hope that it will provide shoppers the opportunity to enjoy their visit to the centre in a calming, more accessible environment,” he added.

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