Good news, Target fans. Holiday shopping at Target is about to get a lot less stressful thanks to a quiet shopping event designed for families on the autism spectrum.
The two-hour event will be held at the Target in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (on 2385 Covered Bridge Drive) on December 10 from 6 a.m to 8 a.m. As part of the event, lights will be dimmed, music will be turned off and store staff will be reduced, a Lancaster Target employee told The Mighty. Free Starbucks Coffee will be also available for any parents shopping that morning. The event will be held in partnership with Wellspan Philhaven, which provides behavioral healthcare for adults and children in central Pennsylvania.
Target is known for its commitment to people of all abilities. Earlier this year the store added Caroline’s Carts – shopping carts designed to seat older children and adults with disabilities – in the majority of its locations. Target has also featured people with disabilities in its advertising for the past 25 years.
Target is one of a handful of companies to offer quiet events for people on the autism spectrum. Last month, both Toys “R” Us and Chuck E. Cheese’s unveiled sensory-friendly events for those with autism.
Update: A spokesperson for Target told The Mighty, “[W]e are committed to creating an environment where our team members and guests feel welcome, valued and respected. As part of that commitment, we empower our store leaders to make decisions that help meet the needs of the guests they serve. The store leader of our Lancaster East store worked with his team and local community partners to create a welcoming shopping event for his guests on the autism spectrum and we applaud his efforts. We don’t have plans to roll these events out company-wide, but are always looking for new ways to further enhance our guests’ shopping experience.”
Photo credit: Mike Mozart