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Costco to Host Quiet Shopping Event for Those on the Autism Spectrum

Costco lovers, rejoice! The discount wholesale retailer is the latest company to offer a sensory-friendly shopping event geared towards those on the autism spectrum.

As part of the event, Costco will remove its visual displays and lower store lighting. “[It is] really helpful for stores to reduce the odors, reduce the sounds, reduce the distractions that make it really hard for children as well as adults,” Jim Runyon of Easter Seals, Central Illinois, told WMBD.

The event will be held on Friday, December 16, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Costco in East Peoria, Illinois.

Costco joins Target, which hosted a sensory-friendly event on December 10, as the latest retailer to offer an alternative shopping experience. Other companies, like Toys “R” Us and Chuck E. Cheese’s have also recently unveiled sensory-friendly events.

While more companies are beginning to offer specialized shopping events, the programs are usually limited to a handful of locations. In most cases, individual stores work with nonprofits or community leaders to create a customized experience at that particular location.

Update: A spokesperson for Costco told The Mighty,”This was a one time event, in one location supported families, caregivers and/or anyone associated with Autism in the community. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a response regarding any possible future events.” 

Photo credit: Mike Mozart