Wegmans grocery store chain added adaptive shopping carts to all of its stores to make the shopping experience for people with disabilities more accessible and inclusive.
On July 29, the regional supermarket chain announced it will roll out Firefly GoTo Shop adaptive shopping carts in all of its stores. Firefly’s adaptive cart is designed to accommodate children up to 77 pounds ages 2 to 8 with extra head and posture support. The cart is open in the front for easy access, and its supports and five-point harness are completely adjustable.
“We recognized that there are more families, throughout all our market areas, who would benefit from the availability of this cart at our stores,” Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans community relations manager, said in a press release. “At Wegmans, we are committed to providing incredible customer service to all our shoppers, and we’re always looking for better ways to make our stores accessible to everyone.”
Wegmans’ decision to provide adaptive carts at all its stores is thanks to New York Wegmans customer Liza Rudroff. Rudroff’s daughter Sydney has a neurological movement disorder that impacts her mobility. Rudroff said her daughter was too big to fit in the front of a regular shopping cart, but other carts designed for kids with disabilities were too small. This meant Sydney couldn’t come to the grocery store with her mom.
Rudroff advocated with her local Wegmans for the Firefly carts. After her campaign, Wegmans tested the Firefly adaptive cart in two stores in New York before including the carts at all 99 of its stores across six states, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.
“Now, I can comfortably and safely take Syd grocery shopping with me,” Rudroff said in a press release. “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.”
Wegmans’ is one of a handful of chains to offer adaptive shopping carts in most or all locations. In 2016, Target added Caroline’s Carts to the majority of its stores. Other chains and retailers offer adaptive carts on a store by store basis, usually after a customer requests them.