DETROIT – Kroger announced Monday that it is adopting several new measures to try to make its stores safer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, including a stricter customer limit, one-way aisles and more.
Update: Starting April 8, Kroger stores will limit the number of customers to 50% of the building code capacity to allow for easier social distancing in every store. This code capacity varies by store.
“Kroger’s introduction of customer capacity limits is one more way we are doing our part to flatten the curve while operating as an essential business, providing our customers with access to fresh, affordable food and products,” said Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger’s senior vice president of operations. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”
Kroger will monitor the number of customers using QueVision technology, which already provides a count of the customers entering and exiting stores.
“By leveraging QueVision, our technology system that uses infrared sensors and predictive analytics, we will be able to more efficiently support our new capacity limits, creating a safer environment for our customers and associates,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief technology and digital officer.
Once a store reaches 50% capacity, Kroger associates will manage lines of shoppers as they wait outside the building.
Kroger has already added plexiglass partitions, educational floor decals and airing of a healthy habits message via in-store radio to encourage customers to practice good hygiene and spatial awareness.
Kroger has started to test one-way aisles in select markets to determine if it improves social distancing.
The one-way aisles could be implemented as soon as Tuesday in some Michigan stores. It will be monitored for effectiveness on a wide scale.
Face masks and gloves
Kroger is encouraging associates to wear protective masks and gloves during the pandemic.
The company has ordered masks for associates nationwide, with supply starting to arrive in select regions and all locations expected to have them by the end of this week.
Associate wellness checks
Kroger is asking associates to closely monitor their health and take their temperature at home prior to coming to work.
Any associates who experience symptoms, including a fever, are encouraged to contact their health care provider and stay home.
Under its expanded COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines, associates self-isolating or experiencing symptoms as verified by an health care professional are eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks.
The company started testing temperature checks in its distribution centers several weeks ago and is beginning to expand associate temperature checks to stores.
Waived prescription Delivery fees
Kroger is temporarily waiving fees for prescription delivery via mail or courier.
Zero Hunger, Zero Waste
As part of Kroger’s commitment to end hunger and eliminate waste in its communities by 2025, the company will continue to allow its customers to use reusable shopping bags, provided there is not a state or local ordinance that prohibits it.
Kroger encourages its customers to frequently clean and wipe reusable shopping bags to help maintain a safe shopping environment.
Reduced holiday hours
Kroger will be closing early on Easter Sunday to give workers more time to rest and be with their families.
Holiday hours will vary by location and market.