Walmart announced this week it is expanding its "sensory-friendly" shopping experience, four months after it first introduced the concept, which it said aims to "create a quieter shopping environment that's more enjoyable for customers who live with sensory disabilities."
Starting Friday, the largest retailer in the U.S. said all Walmart stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico will have sensory-friendly hours between 8-10 a.m. local time, seven days a week.
The sensory-friendly changes seek to make shopping less stimulating and more inclusive, according to Walmart. They include three main adjustments: changing TV displays to only show static images, turning off radios and dimming store lights.
"In our stores during sensory-friendly hours, customers will have a calmer shopping experience. Where we're able, our stores will turn off the radio, change our TV screens to be still images and dim the lights," Walmart's Chief Operating Officer Cedric Clark said in a statement provided to "Good Morning America." "We're always open to more feedback from our customers and associates, and listen to what else can help create a less stimulating environment during those times."
Walmart said it sought to expand sensory-friendly hours following positive customer feedback, and that it "continue[s] to welcome feedback" on how to improve the experience for shoppers.
Walmart is following in the footsteps of other businesses and institutions that have made changes or implemented sensory-friendly features. Last November, two local Target stores in the Toledo, Ohio, area, created sensory-friendly hours for shoppers during the holiday season, according to ABC Toledo station WTVG.