Woolies open two very important stores

Two very special stores have been added to the Woolworths supermarket fleet.

The adorable miniature supermarkets have been built in two schools and designed to be staffed by children with disabilities and special needs, giving them a realistic learning environment to better prepare them for life.

The Gabe’s Fresh Food store is preparing the students for life outside of school.
The Gabe’s Fresh Food store is preparing the students for life outside of school.

Eddie's Fresh Food at St Edmund's College was launched at the start of last year and Gabe's Fresh Food at St Gabriel's School was built earlier this month. Both are in Sydney.

The concept is a simulated shopping experience complete with working payment registers and shelves to be stocked, which helps the students with their pathway to work education.

The students staff real check-outs, rather than pretending with toys.
The students staff real check-outs, rather than pretending with toys.

The stores, supported by Woolworths and Fujitsu, have allowed the children to be more engaged in their learning than having to pretend by playing with a fake cash register.

"Gabe's Fresh Food is a very special version of a Woolworths store," said Woolworths Group general manager of IT, Angelo Clayton.

"It has real products, real ticketing, signage, uniforms and name badges for the students to immerse themselves in an authentic supermarket experience - a fantastic way to learn a great number of skills."

Bit of fresh fruit is always handy, too.
Bit of fresh fruit is always handy, too.

A major part of the education is focused on the social skills and customer interaction skills.

The real equipment and products enables students to better grasp and understand the concepts and skills to get a job outside of school.

St Gabriel's principal Jon Franzin says the students are "very excited" to have the unique store on their campus.

"We see use of the payment registers as increasing student's communication and numeracy skills, skills that are transferable to the workplace and for life."

Continue the conversation on Twitter @James_P_Hall or james.hall1@news.com.au



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