Members with sensory and autism spectrum disorders can shop during new Sunday morning quiet hours at PCC Community Markets locations in the Seattle area.
PCC Community Markets, a co-op with a stated goal of advancing the health and well-being of people, is taking another step to include and support its customers. Starting Feb. 18, the grocer is introducing quiet shopping hours to meet the needs of community members with sensory processing or autism spectrum disorders.
During these quiet hours on Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the store lights will be dimmed, music will be muted and announcements will be reduced. Team members will also pause their work stocking shelves.
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In addition to shopping in a more welcoming environment, customers can pick up sensory kits at the front of the store at that time. According to PCC, the kits are designed to provide additional support to people who would benefit from that service.
The addition of weekly quiet hours is permanent extension of a pilot test that was conducted last summer, timed with the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In a letter to members in January, President and CEO Krish Srinivasan said the co-op will focus this year on “furthering the spirit and impact of cooperative principles.” He also recapped some of the 2023 strides towards such goals, noting that PCC welcomed more than 1,300 new members during its first annual Member Month in the fourth quarter and raised more than $120,000 to support its Growing for Good program.
It was a tough quarter in other ways for the co-op, which announced in November that it would shutter its downtown Seattle location on Jan. 31. The closing was attributed to the dwindling number of office workers and residents that ultimately affected sales and profitability.
Despite that loss, PCC Community Markets is still planning to open a new store in Madison Valley, Wash. Currently, PCC operates 15 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle.