Walmart said on Tuesday that it will begin offering “sensory friendly” hours to all of its U.S. and Puerto Rico stores every morning in an effort to make its locations more accessible.
The company’s stores will change the TV walls to a static image turn off the radio, and lower the lights where possible in an effort to create a more comfortable experience for customers who have autism. The change happens on November 10.
Walmart tested this program during the back-to-school season, offering a few hours each Saturday. The positive feedback convinced the company to expand the initiative across the country. All stores will offer the sensory-friendly hours between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. local time. It’s one of the ways Walmart is making its stores more accessible, with 1 in 36 children in the U.S. having been diagnosed with autism.
During these hours, we hope our customers and associates will find the stores to be a little easier on the eyes and ears,” the company said. “These changes are thanks to those who shared their feedback on how their stores could help them feel like they belong.”
Walmart last month said it had remodeled and redesigned 117 stores across 30 states in a bid to improve the store experience and compete with online retailer Amazon.