Grocery Chain Rolls Out Adaptive Shopping Carts
Thanks to one mom, a supermarket chain is the first to provide carts in all of its stores designed for children with special needs who are too big to sit in regular carts.
Wegmans — a regional supermarket chain with 99 stores in six states — said it will offer the Firefly GoTo Shop adapted carts at each of its locations.
The specialized cart includes a cushioned seat with adjustable head and lateral supports and a five-point harness. It’s intended for kids with special needs ages 2 to 8 who weigh up to 77 pounds, according to the cart’s maker.
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Linda Lovejoy, community relations manager at Wegmans, said the company learned about the GoTo Shop cart from Liza Rudroff, a customer whose daughter, Sydney, has a neurological movement disorder. Since Sydney doesn’t walk, but is too large to sit in a traditional cart and too small for other carts aimed at people with special needs, Rudroff told Wegmans that she would only shop when someone else was available to stay with her daughter.
“When Liza Rudroff, a customer at our Alberta Drive store in Buffalo, New York, brought this cart to our attention and shared her family’s need, we recognized that there are more families, throughout all our market areas, who would benefit from the availability of this cart at our stores,” Lovejoy said.
Wegmans piloted the carts at two stores before making them available broadly. Rudroff said the small addition at the grocery store has had a big impact for her family.
“Now, I can comfortably and safely take Syd grocery shopping with me, whether it’s a planned trip or a last-minute decision to stop on the way home from school,” she said. “Going to the store immerses Syd in the community and gives her the opportunity to engage with others, explore the sights and sounds and learn how to shop. It’s a great life experience for her that is now effortless and worry-free for me.”