Sainsbury’s is trialling a new relaxed shopping lane for those who need extra time to do their grocery shopping.
The idea is being tested at the supermarket’s Prestwick store in South Ayrshire, Scotland, and is aimed at people who suffer from dementia.
The month-long trial is similar to one that took place in Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, which has now become permanent.
In Gosforth, the idea was called Slow Shopping and was run during a set time – two hours on a Tuesday afternoon.
People who want to use the service are greeted at the entrance to the store and an employee offers to help them with their shopping.
Chairs are also put out at the end of aisles to enable people who struggle to provide rest stops for those who find it hard to stand the whole way around the store.
In 2016, the Alzheimer’s Society found that eight out of ten of the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK listed shopping as their favourite activity. But since being diagnosed, one in four have given up shopping.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson would not be drawn on whether the idea would be rolled out to all their stores, but did say that any customer can ask for help with their shopping.
She said: “A colleague will help them – from going round with/for them and getting items into the trolley and on the tills, to helping carry bags to their car.
“That’s something we’ve always offered.”
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Regarding the trial in Prestwick, she added: “Our aim is to be the most inclusive retailer and we want all of our customers to have a great shopping experience in our stores.
“There are many aspects of a visit to the supermarket which can be stressful for those with dementia, so by trialling a slow shopping option we hope we can make their lives easier.”