Meijer is partnering with the Aira app to increase accessibility and support for blind and low vision customers. Aira connects users to highly trained, remotely located agents through the cameras of their smartphones.
At the touch of a button, Aira will connect Meijer customers who need immediate visual assistance with anything from reading in-store signage to product labels for free. The service used to be available for a per-minute fee at Meijer, but with the new partnership, it's complimentary.
"Our mission is to enrich lives in the communities we serve," said Tim Williams, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Meijer. "We are happy to offer this tool that ensures our low vision customers experience the same independence as any other customer with quick and easy access to the information they need."
Meijer is among the first Midwest retailers to provide this service for free, but in 2018, Wegmans became the first supermarket to offer its East Coast shoppers the free service. Earlier this year, Target also began partnering with Aira.
Upon entering any Meijer store or neighborhood market, including Bridge Street Market and Woodward Corner Market, any Aira user will receive a notification that their use of the app will be complimentary. In addition, the app can be accessed using the free Wi-Fi available in all Meijer locations, eliminating all potential costs to the customer.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates more than 245 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 19 on PG's 2020 PG 100 list of the top grocers in the United States.