Sainsbury’s is one of the UK’s leading food, general merchandise and clothing retailers with a commitment to helping customers live well for less. J Sainsbury plc operates over 600 Sainsbury’s supermarkets and more than 800 Sainsbury’s Local convenience stores, as well as over 800 Argos stores – more than 2,200 locations in total. We sell over 90,000 products and employ 195,000 colleagues across the UK and Ireland. 

Our vision is to be the most trusted and inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop. Our colleagues, strong culture and values are integral to achieving this vision and driving our success – now and in the future. 

Why is Autism Hour important?

Autism Hour demonstrates how implementing small changes in store can make a big difference. We understand that a busy shopping environment can sometimes be challenging for autistic customers due to sensory overload, which is why we are working with the National Autistic Society to raise awareness of the initiative.

Have you taken part previously?

Sainsbury’s was one of the first retailers to take part in Autism Hour last year, with over 600 stores participating across the country – the highest number of stores of all supermarkets involved. This was so successful that a number of stores nationwide chose to have weekly Quiet Hours in store, which involves turning down the tannoy, self-checkout sounds and café music.

What prompted you to get involved with Autism Hour? Why is it particularly important to you?

First and foremost, we want autistic customers and their families or carers to feel comfortable and relaxed when shopping in Sainsbury’s. Autism Hour is an excellent initiative which not only helps increase awareness and understanding of autism amongst our colleagues and customers, but also provides an enhanced shopping experience for autistic people in the communities we serve.

How will you be participating in 2018?

Building on the success of Autism Hour last year, we are working with the National Autistic Society to do even more in store this year. In addition to reintroducing Autism Hour across Sainsbury’s stores, we are working closely with the Argos team to roll out Autism Hour in store, whilst providing staff with the skills and training to cater for the needs of all customers.

This year, we plan to have three Quieter Hours: Monday morning, Wednesday afternoon, and Friday evening to give customers a choice and spread the word even further. 


Attend your local Autism Hour

Autism Hour is coming on 6 October 2018. Sign up to get exclusive updates to find out where your nearest Autism Hour is taking place.

Find your nearest Autism Hour

Toy clown. The Entertainer.
The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour, supported by The Entertainer