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Finally: shopping without annoying background noise


The “silent hour” is what REWE Group calls its concept of working without annoying background music, advertisements or half-funny company radio show for one hour a day at BILLAplus in Urfahr. There should also be special consideration and less time pressure when going out between 4pm and 5pm. The background is very commendable.

The focus is therefore particularly on the elderly as well as people who are sensitive to light and noise – such as those with autism. For these population groups, visiting the supermarket is a real obstacle due to the many visual and acoustic impressions. In addition to Vienna, Graz and Burgenland, the BILLA Plus branch in Urfahr from 4 pm to 5 pm now also reduces stress, light and noise.

In addition, during the “silent hour” – the branch in Urfahr is the fourth in Austria – more attention is paid to speed at the checkout so that the purchased products can be delivered in peace. Customers who are particularly sensitive to light are also provided with free shopping sunglasses. “It is very important to us that everyone feels welcome and comfortable, including customers who need more peace and quiet when shopping, such as people on the autism spectrum,” says Sandra Edelman, director of the Rewe Program.

Good idea from REWE with the “silent clock” – but why only 60 minutes? Sometimes very annoying ads, including a constant stream of music or advertisements, need to be contained even further. Since there is a lot of noise, impressions and hassle at the checkout (the latter turns into strange stressful situations and racing with the check-in crew (“Do you scan faster or pack faster?”), especially in the HOFER, not only causes discomfort in autistic people and adults age, but makes us all sick. It would be best to get rid of it altogether, because it’s hard to imagine more people would shop because of that almost annoying level of noise.

And in restaurants too, the vast majority would probably like to do without a permanent sprinkler system in the background, as in the trams of Linz-Lenin, where the special scenes at each stop are underestimated.

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