Currys supports neurodiverse customers with nationwide “Quiet Hour” initiative
Today, Currys Ireland launched ‘Quiet Hour’ which will take place in all stores every Monday to Friday* until 11am. For the first hour of the day, the electrical retailer will be reducing noise in-store, keeping lights low and making sure there are no flashing screens to ensure a calmer place to shop, better supporting neurodiverse customers.
This new initiative replaces the weekly autism friendly evenings, launched in autumn 2022. ‘Quiet Hour’ builds on its predecessor’s success by increasing the frequency to Monday through to Friday and targeting all those with an invisible disability.
To support the launch, Currys has joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network, giving customers a discreet way to signify that they have an invisible disability and may need some help and extra time. The Sunflower lanyards will be available for customers to pick up in any of the 16 Currys stores across Ireland.
The electrical giant understands that for our neurodiverse customers, while tech plays a vital role in their lives, going into a Currys store with all the flashing lights, loud noises and tech displays can be daunting.
Currys Quiet Hour is a dedicated time where we change the shopping experience in-store to be more accessible for certain customer groups who may be impacted by different sounds, lighting and sensations in store. This is most beneficial for neurodiverse customers who have conditions such as ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Autism and many others. It’s estimated that 1 in 7 people in Ireland have a disability and 80% of these are non-visible disabilities. Currys are working towards ensuring the needs of all of their customer base are met. Currys are working with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower who specialise in hidden disabilities, and they will help better support these customers. Currys will also continue to support their charity partner, service dog charity My Canine Companion in their work with children with autism and their families through fundraising and awareness activations.
Kenny Cosgrove, Head of Retail at Currys Ireland commented:
“I am really proud of the ‘Quiet Hour’ initiative, which shows our commitment to making Currys a place where everyone feels comfortable to shop. Since beginning our partnership with service dog charity My Canine Companion in 2021, we as a business have put diversity and inclusion to the forefront of our agenda. Feedback from the weekly autism awareness evenings was overwhelmingly positive so we’ve extended this experience to weekdays and to focus on all our neurodiverse customers. We’re excited to have joined the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network to help facilitate this initiative.”
Examples of the in-store environment during Quiet Hour include:
- The majority of sounds will be reduced and consistent throughout the store
- As customers walk around there won’t be multiple sound sources, so whilst most of the tech will be switched on, sound will be off
- All TVs and screens will be switched off
- If a customer requires a demo of sound, Currys will do this assisted and we will be extra courteous to other customers close by
- Currys will offer a sensory map by store – this will help customers identify areas that may be a triggering environment, it will also highlight quieter areas of the store where customers can go if they start to feel overwhelmed
- Currys will offer customers with non-visible disabilities a Sunflower lanyard if they wish, a discrete way to let others around them know that they may need a little extra help whilst shopping
- Ear defenders and sensory toys are available on request
- Service dogs are welcome as always
Scott Casson-Rennie, Communications Manager, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Ireland said:
“We are delighted to have Currys join the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Ireland network. Currys is the first electrical retailer in Ireland to join the community and their work to incorporate the Sunflower into the Quiet Hours shopping experience is of huge benefit to not only neurodiverse customers but also to people with other disabilities. The relaxed atmosphere will allow customers to browse and decide which purchase is right for them without feeling overwhelmed. Currys staff are trained to recognise Sunflower wearers and offer help and more time.”