Have you noticed a slight change when it comes to the ambiance at your favorite Colorado Walmart? Do you find that at various times throughout the day you aren't subjected to the degree of sensory overload you've faced in the past?

Walmart, a ubiquitous presence across Colorado, recently initiated a transformation to enhance the in-store shopping experiences of its patrons, particularly those sensory-sensitive. While these efforts are greatly appreciated by many, for some, the measures have gone unnoticed.

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Changes To Your Friendly Neighborhood Wally World

According to a report from corporate.walmart.com, the retail giant has taken strides to create a more inclusive environment within its Colorado stores. Last year, they initiated a pilot program aimed at making their stores more accommodating for individuals with sensory sensitivities.

Have You Noticed The Changes?

In late 2023, during select hours on Saturdays, the atmosphere within Walmart stores changed. While subtle, these changes proved impactful. The potentiometer on the once bustling environment was turned down a few notches as the TV walls displayed static images and the storewide speakers fell silent. In addition, store lights were dimmed to a soothing level.

How Was This Received?

According to CNN Business, the feedback from this pilot program was overwhelmingly positive, as it significantly transformed the shopping experience for many individuals. What might seem like minor adjustments to some held immense significance for others, ushering a sense of comfort and ease during their shopping excursions. Encouraged by the positive response, Walmart took a step forward in November 2023 by implementing these sensory-friendly practices on a daily basis.

What Precisely Is The Benefit?

Now, across Colorado, including the Walmart located at 2545 Rimrock Avenue in Grand Junction, patrons are greeted with a serene ambiance each morning from 8 to 10. Burt Flickinger, retail expert and managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group says, "It was a smart business strategy to cater toward the needs of some customers."

Who Benefits From This?

What precisely is a "neurodiverse individual," and how would they benefit from these changes? According to Cleveland Clinic:

Neurodivergent is a nonmedical term that describes people whose brains develop or work differently for some reason. This means the person has different strengths and struggles from people whose brains develop or work more typically. While some people who are neurodivergent have medical conditions, it also happens to people where a medical condition or diagnosis hasn’t been identified.

Other Changes For Walmart In 2024

On February 20, 2024, CNN Business shared "Five Moves Walmart is Making to Overhaul its Business for the Future." These changes for the year 2024 include:

  • A 3-for-1 stock split
  • Store Manager salary increases by 9%, with average pay increasing from $117,000 to $128,000.
  • New technology initiatives (everything from speedy drone delivery to AI predicting your online orders
  • Quieter stores
  • Offering in-store samples

In the Meantime, Check Out the Ambience at Your Colorado Walmart

These changes, which came into effect on November 10, 2023, mark a milestone in Walmart's commitment to fostering accessibility within its stores for both customers and associates.

There is no planned end date in sight, indicating Walmart's dedication to maintaining these practices for the long haul.

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Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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