• Walmart is rolling out new shopping hours for individuals with sensory issues
  • Walmart's successful pilot program led to a permanent change
  • Lowered-sensory shopping hours will be offered every day

Many years ago, I worked in the school system as a paraprofessional. My entire day was dedicated to helping a young girl with autism navigate the challenges of the school day.

She was fairly high-functioning but had difficulty managing her emotions when there was a lot of environmental stimulation. Loud noises, bright lights, too many people all at once - any of these factors could spiral her into over-stimulation and stress.

Walmart is rolling out new sensory hours in Arizona for shoppers
It's hard to stay calm if you're easily over-stimulated. // Canva

She dealt with these stressors with anything from twirling in a circle to a complete and total meltdown. When the latter happened, everyone in the vicinity was impacted.

Thankfully, I worked under the guidance of a very wise and patient mentor who knew the best way to control the classroom environment so we could prevent her from feeling excessive stress, heading off the meltdowns before they could even begin.

Walmart Aims to Control an Over-Stimulating Environment

It's not difficult to control an environment in a small classroom with only 11 students. The world at large is a much bigger challenge.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)one in 36 children is now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Two years ago, one in 44 children was diagnosed with this condition, and since 2000, there has been a 178% increase in Autism diagnoses.

Walmart is rolling out new sensory hours in Arizona for shoppers
Parents and children who are easily overstimulated may find shopping to be a stressful experience. // Canva

Walmart has taken note, which is why they're the first retail establishment to roll out Sensory Friendly shopping hours.

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First tested in the fall of 2023 during the back-to-school shopping season, Walmart has announced they're making this a regular part of the shopping day to help parents and shoppers with sensory issues peruse the aisles in a more serene environment.

Walmart is rolling out new sensory hours in Arizona for shoppers

Walmart's New Sensory-Friendly Shopping Hours

Whether you have loved ones with sensory challenges or want a more peaceful shopping experience, Walmart's changes will offer a calmer way to shop.

Walmart's Sensory-Friendly Changes

From 8 am to 10 am every day, Walmart will:

  • Change the TV walls to a static image
  • Turn off the radio
  • Lowering the lights where possible
Walmart is rolling out new sensory hours in Arizona for shoppers
Walmar will turn off radios, and switch televisions to a static image. // Canva

See Also: Top 11 Reasons Arizona Shoppers Hate Walmart

The morning shopping changes aim to reduce sensory stimulation, creating a calmer, quieter shopping experience. Customers and Walmart staff will benefit from the more relaxed environment.

Walmart is rolling out new sensory hours in Arizona for shoppers

Walmart received overwhelmingly positive feedback during its pilot program last fall, so it decided to create sensory-friendly shopping hours every day, and they do not plan to end the program any time soon.

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