RETAIL NEWS

Wegmans adopts platform to assist blind, low vision shoppers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A regional supermarket retailer is taking an innovative approach to customer inclusion.

Through a partnership with San Diego-based startup Aira, Wegmans Food Markets now offers the Aira Supermarket Network, a platform that delivers real-time visual descriptions to blind customers or those with low vision — a move that enables customers to shop independently. Wegmans is the first supermarket in the United States to adopt the technology.

Here’s how the platform works: Once shoppers download the Aira app onto their smartphone, they can use it to connect to a remote, sighted agent who will deliver store information on-demand. Using a live camera stream, GPS, maps, and information sourced from the web, agents can help shoppers navigate the store, find specific items, and identify the shortest checkout lines.

The technology is free, and available in all of Wegmans’ 97 stores.

“At Wegmans, we are committed to providing incredible customer service to all our shoppers,” said Linda Lovejoy, community relations manager for Wegmans. “Our partnership with Aira helps us deliver on this commitment, giving our blind and low-vision customers access to this innovative service and the ability to navigate our stores easily and efficiently.”

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Kmart Pharmacy recognized by Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation

BY DSN STAFF

Kmart Pharmacy announced that it has received the Award of Accreditation from the Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation.

The recognition is awarded to durable medical equipment, or DME, companies that demonstrate a high level of quality practices in their business operations and patient care techniques.

“Earning accreditation by the Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation demonstrates that Kmart Pharmacy is committed to providing excellent patient care and safety,” Jennifer Speares Lehman, senior director of compliance and administration of Kmart, said. “Kmart remains focused on the overall health and well-being of our members as we provide quality care and offer low-cost copays and extra savings to Medicare-eligible Americans.”

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based pharmacy earned the three-year accreditation after completing an application process that focused on patient care, financial stability and a commitment to quality operational practices and procedures.

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Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation awards $3.4M to schools, nonprofits

BY DSN STAFF

Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation is looking to make a major difference in the lives of its consumers.

The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based company announced that it has awarded more than $3.4 million in youth literacy grants to 915 schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the 44 states the retailer serves.

“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to be an ardent supporter of schools, libraries and nonprofit literacy organizations,” Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO, said. “Dollar General’s mission is serving others, and this commitment comes to life through Dollar General Literacy Foundation grants that will impact thousands of students across the country. Since its inception 25 years ago, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has partnered with thousands of organizations focused on advancing the goals of literacy and education.”

To date the foundation has awarded more than $159 million in grants to schools, libraries and literacy organizations, as part of its mission to increase literacy for individuals of all ages, the company said.

A complete list of the grant recipients can be accessed on the foundation’s website.

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