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Walmart Is Making a Major Change To Its Early Morning Shopping Hours

The change will make early morning shopping much more zen.

Between the bright lights, flashing televisions, and radio music, walking through the aisles of a big box store like Walmart can easily become a very stimulating experience. But starting this week, customers will find that shopping at Walmart in the early mornings will be much more zen.

During the back-to-school season throughout July and August, Walmart began offering sensory-friendly hours on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at most of its stores. During those hours, Walmart changed its television walls to a static image, turned off the radio, and lowered the lights wherever possible. 

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These changes were part of a pilot program meant to make Walmart's stores more inclusive and enjoyable for customers who have sensory disabilities. And according to Walmart, customers were big fans.

After receiving "overwhelmingly positive" feedback about the pilot program, Walmart just announced this week that it was bringing back its sensory-friendly shopping hours at all stores in the United States and Puerto Rico starting Nov. 10. But this time around, the sensory-friendly hours will take place every single day of the week from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. "with no planned end date," Walmart said.

"During these hours, we hope our customers and associates will find the stores to be a little easier on the eyes and ears. These changes are thanks to those who shared their feedback on how their stores could help them feel like they belong," the announcement read.

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The announcement also noted that Walmart continues to welcome feedback on how to enhance its sensory-friendly hours even better. So if Walmart customers have any thoughts or observations on how to make the program even better or more inclusive, they should make sure to share them with the company.

This is only one of several major changes that Walmart has implemented this year. Back in August, the retailer revealed that it would expand demo stations with free samples to more than 1,000 of its stores. Walmart said at the time that the demo stations would not only help suppliers find new audiences, but it would also make the shopping experience more enjoyable for customers.

"For suppliers, these demos create a massive opportunity to drive discovery and conversion, such as when launching a new product or driving an always-on presence for core products. For customers, this creates an experience to look forward to, and some have already shared that these demo weekends feel like customer appreciation events," the company said.

Walmart has also been increasing in-store advertising and removed the self-checkout stations from several of its stores.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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