The Entertainer, the UK’s largest independent toy retailer, has introduced ‘quiet hours‘ to cater for those living with Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Around 700,000 in the UK live with ASD, a neurological condition which affects how a person interacts with others, communicates, and learns. It can also impact how people cope with experiences of heightened sensual perception, a particularly poignant concern during Christmastime, when hoards of consumers flock to the shops, which are filled with festive lights and music.
National Autistic Society research has found that around 50% of people with ASD and their families sometimes avoid going out because of a concern for negative reactions by members of the public, with over one quarter having been asked to leave a public space for behaviours perceived to be antisocial which relate to their condition.
Quiet hours in all 171 of The Entertainer’s stores will continue for one hour each day throughout the remainder of the month of December. During these hours, music will be turned off, store lighting will be dimmed, and staff will be specially trained to understand the condition.
Local Entertainer stores can be located in Eastleigh’s Swan Centre, the Brooks Shopping Centre in Winchester, and Potters Walk in Basingstoke.