CINCINNATI, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kroger, the world's third-largest retailer with $110 billion in sales and a 35-state footprint, is increasing investment in its own stores – more than $4 billion to open new stores, expand or renovate old supermarkets. As part of this plan, Kroger enlisted fellow member of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber MN8®, developer of photoluminescent safety products, to install its LumAware® energy-free exit signs at all new and renovated Kroger stores nationwide.
MN8, created by firefighter Zachary Green, also develops, manufactures and sells photoluminescent products under their Foxfire® brand to keep more than 65,000 firefighters and those they protect safe. MN8 products don't just glow in the dark, they emanate (or MN8), light. These zero-energy EXIT signs eliminate the need for batteries, light bulbs, electricity and maintenance. The signs are being manufactured by people with severe vision loss at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (CABVI).
"It is estimated that Kroger will save over $6 million and reduce its carbon footprint by over 50 million pounds over the next 15 years by transitioning to LumAware EXIT signs," said Keith Oliver, VP of Facility Engineering at Kroger.
"We use LumAware technology in our retail store locations because it aligns with our core value of safety and reinforces our commitment to give back to the communities we serve by providing job opportunities for people, especially those with disabilities," said Reuben Shaffer, Chief Diversity Officer at Kroger.
"People who can't see are helping those who can to navigate in the dark," said Zachary Green, CEO of MN8. "Coincidentally, Barney Kroger, who created the Kroger chain of retail stores, was the first board chair of the Cincinnati Association for the Welfare of the Blind."
"CABVI may have started as a grassroots charity, but we have grown to become a high performing social enterprise," said John Mitchell, CABVI CEO. "We are ISO 9001:2008 certified, a quality standard that many for-profit companies aspire to. We are grateful to MN8, Kroger, and the Chamber for believing in CABVI's mission, the capabilities of our employees, and a commitment to community inclusion."
"The Chamber models inclusiveness and regional thinking into everything it does," said Jill Meyer, Chamber president & CEO. "We are proud to have helped these three member companies connect and grateful that MN8 is employing those who are often regarded as unemployable."
"The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber helps small businesses, like mine, connect with big businesses and with each other," added Green. "Through those connections, we are changing lives for the visually impaired in our region and saving lives with LumAware® products in Kroger stores around the nation."
About The Kroger Co.
Every day, the Kroger Family of Companies makes a difference in the lives of eight and a half million customers and 431,000 associates who shop or serve in 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger and its subsidiaries operate an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized, order online, pick up at the store service – in addition to our 2,231 pharmacies, 784 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,387 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Kroger is recognized as one of America's most generous companies for its support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations.
MN8, and its brands Foxfire® and LumAware®, is a firefighter-started company that develops energy-efficient and cost-effective photoluminescent products for more than 65,000 firefighters and hundreds of safety and egress systems in 25 countries around the world. MN8 has been recognized for work in developing technology to keep firefighters and civilians safe by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Entrepreneur Magazine, Cincinnati Innovates, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. House of Representative Small Business Committee. Visit www.mn8foxfire.com and www.lumawaresafety.com for more information.
About Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Since 1911, CABVI provides counseling, rehabilitation, information and employment services to people of all ages in the Greater Cincinnati region. Through all of its programs and services, it strives to help those who are blind, visually or print impaired lead full and independent lives. CABVI provides services to approximately 5,000 people each year. For more information about CABVI, please call (513) 221-8558 or visit our website at www.cincyblind.org.
About the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is one of the nation's largest chambers, representing the interests of 4,000 member businesses. Its mission is to grow the vibrancy and economic prosperity of the region. The Chamber serves its membership and the Cincinnati USA community through leadership and professional development programs, government advocacy, regional vision and collaboration, money-saving benefit programs, and festivals and events. For more information, visit cincinnatichamber.com.
MN8 Foxfire® LumAware®
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
+1.513.579.3194; cell +1.513.205.7424
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SOURCE Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber