Italian regional cooperative Unicoop Firenze has opened a new Coop.Fi supermarket in Florence, which has been developed as an autism-friendly store.
The first initiative of this kind in Italy is the result of a partnership with Autismo Firenze (Autism Association Florence), an association of families with autistic children.
Follow The Blue Hedgehog
A dedicated kit has been prepared, consisting of a cotton shopping bag that features the image of a blue hedgehog (representing autism spectrum disorder) with a variety of instructions.
Staff members have been specifically trained on the recommended methods of interaction in collaboration with Autism Association Florence.
There is signage at the entrance, distinguishing the supermarket as sensitive to the issue of autism and informing customers that staff members have received adequate training. In addition, shoppers can avail of a priority checkout – again, marked with a blue hedgehog.
Creating A Friendly Atmosphere
Unicoop Firenze has noted that it will identify days of the week and times of less traffic, to create a quiet and dedicated atmosphere for autistic shoppers. During these periods, the lighting will also be dimmed and announcements will be limited and set at a lower volume.
The 800-square-metre store offers consumers a simple and orderly shopping route, starting from an area dedicated to fruit and vegetables, followed by packaged products, a bakery, an area dedicated to dairy products, a butcher and a fishmonger.
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.