Portugal's Continente Tests Inclusive Store Concept

By Branislav Pekic
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Portugal's Continente Tests Inclusive Store Concept

Portuguese supermarket chain Continente is piloting an inclusive store concept designed to improve the shopping experience for people with disabilities, particularly those with autism.

The Continente Modelo Leça do Balio store in Matosinhos has been adapted so that people with disabilities, particularly those on the autistic spectrum, can make purchases with autonomy and greater peace of mind.

The store offers several features, including sound mufflers for adults and children; sensory plants at the entrance; a comfort room; adapted checkout boxes; specialised shopping carts; and assisted purchasing.

The store staff has also received autism spectrum training to provide a more personalised and empathetic service.

Pilot Project

Miguel Andrade, director of operations at Continente commented, "Being part of a pilot project for an inclusive store is very important, as we want to welcome all people and their uniqueness.


"The Continente Modelo Leça do Balio store is embarking on a journey of inclusion, first and foremost because it has a diverse team, we've invested in differentiating training for our people on these issues and we've started preparing it with services that allow it to be increasingly adapted to the needs of all customers. It's a journey that has many dimensions and we're just getting started."

This initiative is part of the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy of Continente parent MC, part of the Sonae group, which addresses five dimensions, including disabilities, and which aims to promote an increasingly inclusive culture.

In 2022, Italian regional cooperative Unicoop Firenze opened a new Coop.Fi supermarket in Florence, a similar autism-friendly store concept.

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