A weekly quiet hour that was initiated at Marton's Countdown has been so successful the supermarket chain has decided to expand the hour nationwide.
Every Wednesday, from October 23 a quiet hour will be held between 2.30pm and 3.30pm in support of those with autism and sensory issues.
The music, PA system and half of the store lights are switched off, fidget toys are given to children and staff are asked to not work with stock or rattle around trolleys and cages.
Countdown Trafalgar Square followed Marton's lead earlier this year and manager Kirsten Dinnan said they were stoked with the initiative being rolled out nationwide.
She said for such a large company to take this on board it showed it cared and it highlighted the different needs throughout the country.
"It's about how do we create an experience for our customers that everyone can take part in because regardless of whatever your challenges may be in life we all deserve the same opportunities."
The initiative in Trafalgar Square originated from staff member Theo Hogg, previously from Countdown Marton, whose son is severely autistic.
The quiet hour got positive feedback in Marton, so Dinnan - who was the previous store manager of Marton Countdown - wanted to bring it to Whanganui.
She said so far the response from customers has been great.
"A lot of the elderly really love it because it's not just around autism, it's around any need so a lot of the elderly really love it, it's just a nice atmosphere even for the team as well."
Dinnan said it has been a good opportunity to create a judgment-free zone to increase awareness and an understanding of the needs in the community.
Auckland City Metro and Cable Car Lane would be the only two stores nationwide not offering a quiet hour.