In a proud endeavor for the entire Group, Ali Bin Ali Holding – Monoprix Qatar has launched ‘Sensory Friendly Hours’ at its Iconic 2022 outlet. This makes Monoprix Qatar the first-ever sensory-friendly hypermarket in the country. The venture, with the slogan ‘Towards a more inclusive community’, was launched on May 14, 2023, in collaboration with Step by Step Centre for Special Needs.
Shopping can be overwhelming for individuals with sensory sensitivities, and Monoprix’s ‘Sensory Hours’ is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for all our customers.
The sensory hours, every day from 8am to 10am, include dimming store lights, turning off music and announcements over the PA and mitigating cash register noise. Staff are also encouraged to speak more softly and not perform certain tasks, like gathering grocery carts.
On May 22, the ‘Sensory Friendly Hours’ at Monoprix Iconic 2022 was officially launched at a gathering in the presence of parents and children from Step by Step Centre, Regional General Manager of Monoprix Mr. Sébastien Farhat and Director of Step by Step Centre for Special Needs Mrs. Nasreen Sharif.
The session was headed by the Chair of Psychiatry for Sidra Medicine and Chair of Qatar’s National Autism Plan Working Group, Dr. Waqar Muhammad Waqar Azeem, who provided an overview of sensory processing challenges and their impact. He highlighted the importance of sensory-friendly initiatives and encouraged the community for continued support and participation in sensory-friendly initiatives.
Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Farhat said: “At Monoprix, we want everyone to feel welcome in our stores. Not all needs are visible and small changes can make a big difference to our customers. We pride ourselves on creating an inclusive environment that reflects our commitment to contribute towards creating an inclusive community in Qatar.”
The Step by Step Centre previously trained the enthusiastic Monoprix staff on how to be sensitive in their approach towards customers with sensory difficulties and how to assist them appropriately when required. Reasonable adjustments were suggested and put in place at the hypermarket for the sensory-friendly hours in order to reduce the sensory overload along with the provision of a quiet corner.
Monoprix Qatar’s inclusive shopping venture in partnership with Step by Step Centre for Special Needs is in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 to build a more inclusive society by bringing a positive change and fulfilling our social responsibility.