Tesco has announced it will be introducing a permanent Quiet Hour in UK stores.

Recognising that its stores with loud noises, bright lights and a large volume of people can be stressful for some customers with Autism has encouraged the supermarket to add this permanent feature.

About 20% of the UK population have a disability, and Tesco wants its stores to be a place that everyone is welcome.

A calmer environment also makes the shopping experience easier for elderly customers, people shopping with young children or shoppers who may be suffering with their mental health, the supermarket has said.

Every Wednesday and Saturday between the hours of 9am and 10am will be a Quiet Hour in Tesco. The lights will be dimmed, and the checkout noise will be lowered in all large stores.

In the future, Tesco will centrally reduce the noise of self-service tills and Scan As You Shop devices, too.

Claire Pickthall, Tesco Group Customer Proposition Director said: “We know that almost 20% of the population in the UK have a disability and we want to be able to help our customers as much as we can. So I am really proud that at Tesco, we are taking another step in being a more inclusive business by introducing Quiet Hour across all our stores. I know that for some people the shopping trip can be stressful and not just for people with a disability but for others looking for a calmer place to shop. We want everyone to know that Tesco is a welcome place for everyone to come and shop or work with us.”