Kmart has taken another step forward in making its stores more inclusive and accessible for its customers by introducing ‘Quiet Space’. The initiative has been created to help customers who are, or have family members on, the autism spectrum, or for those who find it challenging to shop in a high sensory environment.
The initiative will take place every Wednesday in selected Kmart stores from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, with reduced noise, lighting and distractions to make for a calmer shopping experience.
During this two-hour window, the participating stores will have the lights dimmed, Kmart radio will be turned down and register and scanner volumes will be reduced to the lowest level. Trolley collections will also be limited, as will PA announcements unless there’s an emergency. There will also be more team members available on the shop floor to support customers as they shop.
“We understand retail stores are high-sensory environments and we hope the introduction of ‘Quiet Space’ will give some of our Kmart customers and communities, time and space to calm their sensory systems in a low-stress atmosphere,” Kmart said in a press release.
“We know inclusion is a big topic that cannot be addressed alone. That’s why we’ve engaged communities an advocacy organisations across the country, to help bring ‘Quiet Space’ to life. We would like to thank our partners for their ongoing support and involvement. By working together, we know we can achieve better outcomes for today and a brighter future for our teams and customers tomorrow.”
Kmart has worked with a number of organisations to create this initiative, including Aspect Australia, Autism Queensland, Edge Employment Solutions and Matchworks. The retailer has also created a sensory map, which allows shoppers to plan their visit to Kmart if they wish and create awareness around areas of the store that may have increased sensory stimuli. You can find the stores participating in the ‘Quiet Space’ initiative via the Kmart website.