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Coles expands quiet hour across Australia

Wesfarmers Ltd.-owned Australian supermarket chain Coles said Sept. 10 that it will extend its "quiet hour" shopping sessions to another 103 stores across the country.

The quiet hour, held every Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. local time, provides a low-sensory shopping environment for customers on the autism spectrum or who have a family member on the spectrum. Changes made for the hour include dimming lights, switching off music and halting announcements over the public-address system.

Coles' quiet hour was developed in collaboration with Autism Spectrum Australia and initially tested in August 2017 at two stores in Victoria before being introduced at another 70 stores across Australia starting in November 2017.

In the coming months, the sessions will be launched at additional Coles stores in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.