Coop Lombardia Opens 'Autism Friendly' Store In Monza, Italy
Coop Lombardia has opened an 'autism-friendly' supermarket in Monza in Italy in collaboration with two associations for relatives of autistic people, PizzAut and Alla3.
The store, a first of its kind in Italy, has implemented measures such as soft lights, no loud noises, priority status at the cash desks, specially trained personnel, and images that explain what can be found in store aisles.
In line with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) criteria developed by experts on the subject, the store uses simple images to illustrate actions according to a routine.
Autistic people and those accompanying them receive a map of the supermarket upon entering the store and are given priority at the tills.
The retailer teamed up with the PizzAut association to train all store staff on recognising the condition and communicating with autistic people.
The Alla3 association contributed to the project by designing graphic signs for supermarket aisles that are suitable for autistic people.
According to Coop Lombardia VP Afredo De Bellis, the new store is probably the first of its kind in Europe, adding that they hope to extend the model to all other outlets in the Lombardy region.
The project received sponsorship from the European Commission.
Estimates suggest that one out every 70 children born in Italy suffer from this condition.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.