Sensory Friendly Shopping at Sobeys

Earlier this spring Oliver and I walked into the Sobeys grocery store on Allen Street in Charlottetown on a Tuesday night.

As soon as we walked in the door I noticed that something was different: the lights were lower, there wasn’t any Muzak, and I didn’t hear any announcements over the public address system.

It was as if Sobeys had opted to remove a bunch of the really annoying things about being in the store, things that we might not be completely aware are annoying until they’re removed.

It turns out that we had, by happenstance, walked into Sobeys during the two hour period, every Tuesday night, when they offer “Sensory Friendly Shopping,” an initiative undertaken in cooperation with The Autism Society of PEI.

This is a great idea, and one, I am told, that may in fact be spread to Sobeys stores across Canada in the near future.

Not only is it a gift to autistic people, but it is a gift to everyone, proving, yet again, that “accessible design” is most often synonymous with “good design.”

If you get a chance to experience Tuesday night shopping at Sobeys, and you agree, perhaps you could drop Sobeys a note of thanks?

Sign advertising Low Sensory Night at Sobeys


Chuck McKinnon's picture
Chuck McKinnon on June 12, 2019 - 15:00 Permalink

I will now be asking my local store about this. Thanks Peter!

Costas Halavrezos's picture
Costas Halavrezos on June 13, 2019 - 16:36 Permalink

Excellent initiative. Now I can concentrate on my shopping list instead of trying to figure out the algorithm or programmer that decided "Pop Hits of the 90s" is what I need to hear.

Rick gordon's picture
Rick gordon on August 7, 2019 - 19:59 Permalink

Aug 7 2019 I just walked in sobeys in brighton Ontario at 6:45 pm noticed the dimmed lighting .....thought mmmm that's nice on the eyes .....did not notice how quiet the store was till I used the self check out and was silent beep beep beep as I scanned my items I said the nice young lady over seeing the self check k line that system was very quiet ...she explained sensory shopping to me . I have never heard of it and I must say I was enjoyable and relaxing .hats off to sobeys to offering this to everyone with our without sensory needs . But to those who do suffer from sensory sensitivities what a great GIFT ....