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Walmart implements sensory-friendly shopping hours in all Canadian stores

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Walmart implements sensory-friendly shopping hours in all Canadian stores

Walmart has launched a calmer shopping experience in its Canadian stores to accommodate those with sensory sensitivities.

In a press release, Walmart said that all of its 403 stores in Canada will now offer sensory-friendly shopping hours with a “less stimulating environment” from opening to 10 am every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday “where possible.”

In a release, the retailer highlighted that “approximately 33% of people experience sensory sensitivity or overload, with more than 25 diagnoses or differences contributing to it.”

Walmart said that during its sensory-friendly shopping hours, it will accommodate customers by decreasing the sound in stores, not playing music or radio advertisements, using static, low-sensory images on TV walls, and pausing announcements and paging except for emergencies.

In a statement, Joe Schrauder, head of Walmart Canada’s store operations, said the move will “create a more inviting and positive shopping experience for customers who experience sensory overload and their families.”

“We want our stores to be a place where all customers and associates feel they belong,” he said.

The company also launched sensory-friendly shopping experiences in the US in 2023.

Walmart isn’t the first company to implement sensory-friendly accommodations in its stores.

In 2019, Empire’s family of brands, which includes Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Thrifty Foods, Foodland and FreshCo stores, introduced the calmer shopping experience to 450 of its locations across the country.

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