STILLWATER, Minn., April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Cub Foods, the first grocer in the Twin Cities to offer Caroline's Cart to customers with special needs children, today announced it is bringing the one-of-a-kind customized shopping carts to all 76 Cub stores in Minnesota, as well as one store in Freeport, Ill. The new carts began arriving at stores in late March and are expected to be available at all Cub Foods locations by the end of April.
Designed specifically for older children and adults with disabilities, Caroline's Cart combines the functionality of a wheelchair with a traditional shopping cart to make the in-store experience simpler, safer and more inclusive by eliminating the difficult task of maneuvering a wheelchair and grocery cart at the same time.
"Since our founding, it has been our goal to provide the best possible shopping experience to all of our customers," says Mike Stigers, president at Cub Foods. "The positive response of shoppers who use Caroline's Cart led directly to our decision to expand to all Cub stores. We're proud to have the opportunity to make it easier for customers to include family members with special needs in their regular shopping trips."
Developed by Drew Ann Long and named after her daughter, Caroline, who was born with Rett Syndrome, a nervous system disorder, Caroline's Cart is the first custom shopping cart on the market to make the day-to-day task of grocery shopping — an errand that can often be difficult and time-consuming for caregivers — easier and less stressful.
"When I first designed Caroline's Cart, we set out on a mission to make it available to the families of millions of children with special needs throughout the United States — families just like ours," says Long. "It warms my heart to know that by offering Caroline's Cart at all locations, Cub Foods is providing families of those with special needs a convenient opportunity to enjoy the freedom of shopping together."
Cub Foods first introduced Caroline's Cart to the Twin Cities metro area at its Maple Grove store, located at 8150 Wedgewood Lane, as part of a pilot program in 2014. A number of shoppers at the Maple Grove location, such as Lisa Jamieson and her 16-year-old daughter, Carly, who has a rare genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome, say Caroline's Cart makes a huge difference in their lives.
"The flexibility that this cart gives me to be able to get into the store with her [Carly] is huge. It's a little thing, but it changes my life," says Jamieson. "When you walk in the store and see the cart waiting for you, it's like a little hug. It feels like the store really cares. They understand and they're making it a lot easier for us."
As part of Cub's introduction of the carts to all stores, the grocer will be actively gathering feedback from customers like Jamieson in order to monitor usage patterns, establish best practices in-store, and make the process as convenient as possible for customers.
"We've had extremely valuable input from customers during our test of Caroline's Cart at the Maple Grove Cub. We're fully committed to continuing that dialogue in order to create a great shopping experience as we bring these carts to all stores," Stigers added.
About Cub Foods Cub Foods offers customers the freshest produce, widest selection and food expertise throughout the store to meet their everyday grocery needs. In addition to innovative local, ethnic and organic food sections, Cub stores offer shoppers multiple in-store services, including fresh bakery, full-service deli and meat departments, pharmacy and banking. Cub Foods, based in Stillwater, Minn., was established in 1968 as one of the nation's first discount grocery stores. Cub was purchased in 1980 by SUPERVALU and currently operates 77 stores in Minnesota and Illinois. For company news and information, follow us on Twitter at @CubFoods and Facebook at www.facebook.com/Cub, or visit our website at www.Cub.com.