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Walmart is hoping to make back-to-school shopping a little less stressful this year for parents and kids by introducing Walmart sensory-friendly hours at most locations nationwide, with the initiative starting today (July 8) for some participating stores.
“Walmart’s Sensory-Friendly Shopping Hours were developed for customers who live with sensory disabilities, making back-to-school shopping more accessible to a broader range of customers and enabling them to shop more comfortably during this exciting time,” a spokesperson tells Krazy Coupon Lady exclusively. Besides promising same-as-last-year prices on 14 select school supplies for 2023, Walmart’s new sensory-friendly hours should help make BTS shopping stress-free this year.
Here’s everything we know about Walmart’s new quiet shopping hours, what it means for shoppers and more. Be sure to text HACKS to 57299 for all our money-saving tips and tricks.
Walmart sensory-friendly hours will take place at most stores on Saturdays in July and August from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
According to a July 6 press release, Walmart’s sensory-friendly hours will take place in stores every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time, starting Saturday, July 8 and running through August 26 in most stores. Important to note: For areas that start school after Labor Day, which is Monday, Sept. 4 (looking at you, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut!), sensory-friendly hours will begin July 22 through September 9, 2023.
Since not every Walmart store is participating in sensory-friendly hours, we suggest calling your local store to see if it’s being offered and when. According to some online reports and Facebook groups, some Walmart shoppers have seen signs go up at their local Walmart about the sensory-friendly hours, but we have not seen the signs yet.
During Walmart’s sensory-friendly shopping hours, static images will replace moving pictures on TVs and select stores will turn off radios.
A spokesperson for Walmart tells Krazy Coupon Lady that shoppers can expect a “quieter and less stimulating shopping trip” at Walmart locations where sensory-friendly hours will be taking place.
“During Walmart’s designated Sensory-Friendly Shopping Hours, static images will replace moving pictures on TVs and select stores will turn off radios and lower overhead lights,” the spokesperson adds.
There is not a limit to how many customers can shop in-store during the Sensory-Friendly Shopping Hours.
Besides the changes mentioned above for a quieter shopping experience, everything else will be business as usual for Walmart shoppers where sensory-friendly hours is taking place. For one, there is no limit to how many customers can shop in-store during these sensory-friendly hours, and no one is excluded from shopping during these hours.
“All customers are able to shop during Walmart’s Sensory-Friendly Shopping Hours,” the spokesperson explains to The Krazy Coupon Lady.
To be clear, this new initiative at Walmart is different than “senior shopping hours” that many retailers did during the COVID pandemic (Walmart included), which was a designated hour of shopping time for shoppers over the age of 60. These designated sensory-friendly hours are open to all customers at the Walmart locations participating.
Walmart is not the first business to offer sensory-friendly hours.
Back in December 2016, one Target store in Lancaster, PA, introduced a sensory-free environment for kids with autism, opening up two hours earlier. However, this initiative was limited to just one location, and not at Target stores nationwide.
Chuck E. Cheese also offers their Sensory Sensitive Sundays program, where participating locations open two hours early on the first Sunday of the month. During this time, kids and parents can find a quieter environment and dimmed lighting. Wondering if your local Chuck E. Cheese participates? You can find all the list of locations that offer the program here.