Walmart announced Tuesday that it is making changes to create a calmer shopping experience, at least for a few hours every day in all of its US stores. Set to be implemented on Nov. 10, the changes include setting in-store TV walls to a static image, turning off the radio, and lowering the store lights. Walmart said it learned during a pilot test for the back-to-school shopping period that these efforts are especially beneficial to neurodiverse individuals – both customers and employees – with sensory disabilities. “Earlier this year, we took a step in making shopping in our stores more inclusive for those with sensory disabilities by taking measures to create a less stimulating environment for a couple hours each Saturday. The feedback of the pilot program was overwhelmingly positive,” the retailer said in a blogpost Tuesday. “These changes may have seemed small to some, but for others they transformed the shopping experience.” Walmart isn’t alone in making these changes but joins a growing group of retailers and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and restaurants, who are becoming more cognizant of the varied needs of consumers. It’s a smart business strategy, too, said Burt Flickinger, retail expert and managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group. During the pandemic, Walmart also set special morning shopping hours for older, vulnerable consumers. “At a time when discounters are competing more aggressively with each other for consumers’ dollars, Walmart is not only building some goodwill with its shoppers but these changes could also bring more shoppers into its stores and keep them shopping there longer,” said Flickinger. Walmart said the sensory-friendly hours will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (local time) seven days a week in all Walmart US and Puerto Rico stores, and don’t have a planned end date. Flickinger said that morning time slot is particularly conducive to shoppers who may have special requirements because “it’s not the busiest time of the day for Walmart stores.” “The busiest time tends to be from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. after school, on the way home from work, or Sunday night,” he said. The retailer told CNN that the changes, for now, will roll out only at its Walmart locations and not at its Sam’s Club warehouse locations. Other retailers are also getting on board with creating a more inclusive shopping experience. Walmart’s rival Target sells an exclusive line of children’s home decor and furnishings that are designed to be sensory-friendly. In October, Victoria’s Secret for the first time announced it would sell intimate apparel in all of its stores and online that is specially designed to meet the needs of women with disabilities. It said the clothing has adaptive features such as magnetic closures and sensory-friendly fabric. The move by Victoria’s Secret shows mainstream brands and retailers – and not only niche sellers – catering to differently abled consumers.