Following its hugely successful weekly quiet hour for shoppers, The Mall Blackburn is extending the initiative to run six days a week.
Starting on Tuesday 30th August, from 9am to 10am, there will be a subdued period that is designed to make the shopping experience less daunting for those who can find loud noises and bright lights overwhelming.
In addition, The Mall is introducing helpful sensory packs that can be collected and returned to its Ask Me Point. They include ear defenders, fidget toys, colouring pages and crayons.
During quiet hour there will be dimmed lighting, no music playing, no PA announcements, as few tannoy announcements as possible and none of the children’s rides will be switched on.
Posters at the entrances to The Mall will inform shoppers that it is quiet hour and it will also be advertised on The Mall’s social media channels, encouraging everyone to be mindful of the intention to create a quiet and calm environment.
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “Our weekly quiet hour has been met with huge praise and we’re delighted to be extending it from Monday to Saturday to ensure everyone can come at a time that suits them.
“We know shopping trips can be an overwhelming experience for some people and we hope that the introduction of our sensory packs, which contain a range of items designed to further lessen anxiety, will also help.
“Having designated periods of consistent quiet and dimming bright lights, which can be distracting and distressing, help to make public spaces more welcoming and inclusive.
“The Entertainer toy shop already has a quiet hour from Monday to Saturday, and more than 20 other retailers joined us in May to support us and this will continue six days a week.
“The Entertainer, Next, Claire’s, H&M, The Body Shop, Shoezone, The Card Factory, H.Samuel, Millies Cookies, 6G and Blue Inc will be switching off their music and lowering the lights, while a further 12 retailers will be making their stores quieter.
“We hope our quiet hour will make a really helpful difference to people.”