While some question just how dedicated food, drug and mass retailers are to helping their customers live healthier lives, there is one store where the commitment can be measured in lost pounds and increased sales.
The Hannaford supermarket in Albany, NY has a 5,600-square-foot gym that includes cardio equipment and a room for exercise classes. Best of all, it is available to customers for free.
The facility opened last October after a meeting between the chain, the local Y and the Capital District Physicians' Health Plan (CDPHP). The store had extra space after a remodel and offered it up as part of a plan to tackle obesity and diabetes in the local community.
The center has an associate from CDPHP on hand to register members and answer questions, a personal trainer from the Y to help with exercise plans and a dietician from Hannaford to offer nutritional advice.
According to an Associated Press report, over 1,100 people have signed up for the gym to date.
Store manager Dave Farrell, who claims he has lost nearly 90 pounds in the last year, said the gym has been good for business. "We've had people use it who weren't customers and have decided to shop in the store," he told the AP. "It's definitely a win for us, but that wasn't the goal.
According to a report on the Glamour website, the San Francisco International Airport has installed a yoga room for airline passengers.
Despite the apparent success of Hannaford's store/gym concept, the company is not planning another like it.
Are food, drug and mass retailers more talk or walk when it comes to helping their customers live healthier lives?