#WhatsTrending: Silent Shopping

By Stephanie Liao, Corporate Communications, Mindshare NA

Does shopping test your patience? While loud music, bright lights, and long lines may be part of a normal (albeit irritating) shopping experience, for those with autism, environments like these can be ridden with anxiety. In these situations, those affected can become nervous, overstimulated, and incredibly overwhelmed.

That’s exactly what happened at the UK supermarket chain, Asda. After seeing a young autistic boy in discomfort, a manager at the store wanted to ameliorate the situation. To do this, he designated “quiet hour” for shoppers to browse and buy in peace.

Every Saturday morning, from 8-9am, according to The Independent, “Escalators will be stopped and in-store music turned down in order to make it more suitable for shoppers with autism who find loud noises difficult to deal with.”

It’s moving to see how brands like Asda have embraced the idea of inclusion throughout the year. And it’s another example of brands driving compassion towards marginalized individuals that Mindshare predicted as an emerging trend in 2016—you can learn more about this “Accelerated Empathy” trend in one of our recent episodes of Culture Vulture Live and in our Trends Report.  This is one trend that we hope to see continuing for years to come.