Saturday, June 22, 2024

Coles expands Quiet Hour

Coles has expanded its low-sensory shopping experience, Quiet Hour, to five days a week, at a time that better suits many customers and working parents.

The retailer is now offering customers a Quiet Hour experience from 6pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday, ensuring customers who find high sensory environments challenging are offered more convenient and accessible time in the evening to enjoy their grocery shop.

The changes customers will notice during these times include Coles Radio turned down to the lowest volume, reduced register and scanner volume and team members refraining from using the PA system, except for in emergencies.

Coles was the first major supermarket to introduce Quiet Hour in 2017, with select stores nationally continuing to reduce their sound and lighting between 10:30am and 11:30am on Tuesdays at participating stores.

The retailer has also invested in a number of Own Brand products that have seen “accessibility improvements”, made digital upgrades to the Coles app and has proudly increased representation in the workforce, with 7.6% of team members identifying as having a disability.

Coles Head of Diversity and Inclusion Katie Wyatt says the retailer is committed to meeting the diverse needs of customers, ensuring everyone feels welcomed, valued and comfortable throughout their shopping experience.

“At Coles, we’re always looking for new ways to serve our customers with disabilities and their carers, and we’re privileged to have many active voices of people with disability in our feedback channels,” she says.

“Up to 70% of autistic people experience sensitivity to sounds, with autistic adults reporting that these symptoms worsen with stress and anxiety … Quiet Hour promotes increased opportunity and enhances the shopping experience for thousands of customers.”

Coles app

The Coles app has been nominated for Corporate App of the Year at the Centre for Accessibility Awards 2023.

The retailer’s mobile app has seen “significant” upgrades, with “best-in-class” accessibility features integrated, informed by insights from individuals with disabilities.

The accessibility features customers can benefit from in the app include:

  • Tailored text sizes
  • The ability to make content larger and easier to read
  • Preferred screen orientation with both portrait and landscape options
  • Reduced swipes and taps required to navigate the app

Coles Own Brand products

Coles partnered with Get Skilled Access between July 2022 and June 2023 to make its Own Brand products more accessible.

The retailer took recommendations from focus groups conducted with a diverse cohort of people with disabilities who evaluated the accessibility of selected products.

Lessons and recommendations led to improved accessibility of 45 Coles Own Brand products in 2023.

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