DISCOUNT store chain Home Bargains has introduced a weekly 'quiet hour' for shoppers with autism.

The quiet shopping hour takes place every Saturday, between 9am and 10am, with music turned off and its tannoy set aside, except for urgent announcements.

The initiative was created in conjunction with The National Autistic Society, which has advised on creating the ideal environment for shoppers with autism.

Joe Morris, operations director at Home Bargains, said: “We have introduced the Quiet Hour to add a peaceful element to retail therapy.

"Home Bargains stores can be busy places, which can be potentially overwhelming for people with autism, especially at this time of year.

"We have created the quieter and calmer environment to enable all of our customers to have an enjoyable and relaxing shopping experience.

"We will continually assess where we can support each and every one of our 5 million weekly shoppers, whatever their situation.”