OPERATIONS

Fairway Market installs hearing loop to help deaf customers

BY Staff Writer

New York — Fairway Group Holdings Corp., parent company of Fairway Market, is the first supermarket in New York City to install technology to help customers who are deaf place their shopping orders.

The company said it has installed a hearing loop at its Broadway store’s deli counter which works with an individual’s telecoil-equipped hearing instrument or cochlear implant.

The person behind the deli counter will speak into a microphone that is connected to the hearing loop, which transmits the signal (speech) wirelessly to the T coil. The system blocks out ambient background noise and amplifies the clerk’s voice, making everything clearer.

"We are very pleased to incorporate this new technology into our flagship store," said Herb Ruetsch, CEO, Fairway Market. "The deli can be a very noisy environment, and our customers living with hearing loss will greatly benefit from the hearing loop and enjoy a much better shopping experience."

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Lumber Liquidators announces new DCs

BY Marianne Wilson

Toano, Va. — Lumber Liquidators announced the next phase in its multi-year supply chain optimization initiative with the planned construction of a new distribution center in Henrico County, Va., and the leasing of a new West Coast distribution center in Pomona, Calif.

Lumber Liquidators plans to construct a 1.0 million-sq.-ft. distribution center in suburban Richmond to consolidate and enhance its current East Coast operations. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter 2014 at a cost of between $46 million and $50 million for the facility and equipment.

Upon full implementation of the facility, the company expects that significant increases in operational efficiency and unit flow, together with lower transportation and occupancy costs, will benefit operating margin and further strengthen the availability of product to its stores.

The company will lease a 500,000-sq.-ft. facility in Pomona, Calif., that it expects to be operational in November. It said it will record costs of between $1.3 million and $2 million in the second half of 2013 in the move.

“The consolidation of our East Coast distribution facilities into a new, larger location and the opening of a West Coast distribution center will ensure we can support the tremendous growth of our business and improve service to our expanding customer base,” said Robert M. Lynch, president and CEO, Lumber Liquidators. “These new facilities will provide a more efficient supply chain structure, allowing us to improve the availability component of our industry-leading value proposition, as well as increase our labor productivity and lower our transportation costs.”

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OPERATIONS

United Supermarkets parent changes name to The United Family

BY Staff Writer

Lubbock, Texas — As part of a strategic branding initiative, United Supermarkets, LLC will now be known as The United Family, reflecting its multiple store brands as well as its rich family history.

The strategic name change is part of a branding initiative to help define, articulate and document the organization’s retail portfolio, which consists of four brands: United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos and United Express, along with its subsidiary operations, R.C. Taylor Distributing, Praters and Llano Logistics.

“This vital step of defining, documenting and evolving our brand strategies will help ensure the entire company understands what each of our brands stands for. Our goal is to create more distinct and consistent brand identities so we stay relevant to current and future Guests,” said Monica Schierbaum, senior marketing director, The United Family.

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