PORTLAND, Ore. -- Fred Meyer Inc. here has completed the last installations of its Playland babysitting service centers for this year.
A Scappoose, Ore., unit, which celebrated its grand opening last month, became the latest new store to offer the service. Two other remodeled stores are slated to debut the service this month.
To date, 57 stores have the program as part of the store layout, said Rob Boley, a chain spokesman.
"It's a free service provided as a convenience to shoppers in the store. It's a worthwhile use of space and positive for the company," he added.
The Playland centers are fully enclosed areas where parents can leave their children while they shop. The walls are plexi-glass, so children and shoppers can see each other. The door to the area remains locked for safety reasons.
The program is now a regular feature of new stores that are large enough to accommodate the average 500- to 600-square-foot babysitting facility, Boley said. Playland also is periodically put into remodels.
Attendants often entertain children by reading books to them. Other activities include videos, coloring, climbing on small plastic jungle gyms and playing with toys that Fred Meyer sells in-store.