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ShopRite creates a new supermarket experience

ShopRite and LifeTown cut the ribbon Nov. 19 on a unique new store that gives individuals with special needs practice with daily life and job skills. The special ribbon cutting ceremony took place at LifeTown, a new immersive educational, therapeutic and recreational center located in Livingston, NJ.shopri

The ShopRite store experience at LifeTown is incorporated into the educational curriculum. It will focus on life-skills lessons including money management, staying on task, choosing healthy food and following a shopping list. Young adults with special needs will also have the opportunity to learn how to stock store shelves, work a cash register, bag groceries and more as part of job-readiness training.

The 53,000-square-foot LifeTown opened in September and provides social, recreational and educational activities for children, teens and young adults with special needs and their families. The ShopRite supermarket experience is part of the 11,000-square-foot “LifeTown Shoppes,” the center of LifeTown and a working Main Street and real-world setting with a theater, bank, doctor’s office and shops. More than 6,500 students are expected to participate in the educational programs at LifeTown Shoppes each year, with 35,000 people participating in all the programs and services that LifeTown offers.

“The young people who come to LifeTown inspire us with their special ability to face challenges with strength, passion and commitment. ShopRite is honored to partner with LifeTown to provide a store experience that helps visitors develop life and job skills, and we look forward to working and learning together,” said Neil Greenstein, a third-generation grocer who owns two ShopRite stores.

“LifeTown is such a wonderful addition to the Livingston community, and we are proud to help support the learning center with this ShopRite store experience. Our ShopRite stores are committed to the communities where our stores operate,” said Perry Blatt, another third-generation supermarket operator and the director of marketing and business development for Village Super Market Inc., which owns and operates the ShopRite of Livingston.

“We’re very excited that ShopRite has partnered with us to create a store that simulates the experience our children would have when they walk into any ShopRite location,” said LifeTown CEO Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum. “Through their experience at LifeTown, participants will learn life skills and be more confident when they enter a store in their own towns.”

ShopRite joins RWJ/Barnabas Health, Regal Bank, Words Bookstore, DCH Audi, and others as sponsors of stores in the LifeTown Shoppes.

In addition to the LifeTown Shoppes, the facility has a zero-entry pool, a sound-attenuated gym, accessible football field, indoor sensory playground and more. The New York Jets, NFL, Nestle Health and Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey also sponsored parts of LifeTown.