How Grocery Stores Are Changing Operations, Protecting Employees

Mar 25, 2020

Area grocery stores have increased health and safety measures for employees to help slow the spread of COVID-19. From markers on the floor that signify appropriate social distancing to store hours designated for vulnerable populations, here’s how local stores are adjusting their operations:

Aldi:

  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the chain’s 20 locations open their doors at 8:30 a.m. for senior citizens, expectant mothers and individuals with health concerns. 

  • ALDI CEO Jason Hart wrote in a release that the stores are “working diligently to keep our shelves stocked” and “intensifying cleaning practices.” He added that the store will focus on stocking in-demand products, including water, pre-made meals and cleaning supplies.

Whole Foods:

  • To ensure the care of team members, Whole Foods says it has implemented unlimited call-offs for work shifts, given an additional $2/hour to part- and full-time employees,doubled overtime pay, and created shopping hours specifically for employees. It has also increased funds available through its Team Member Emergency Fund.

  • Stores are closing two hours earlier than normal so team members can restock shelves and sanitize.

  • Samples have been suspended and hot bars, salad bars and self-serve counters are closed.

  • The purchase of high-demand items has been limited for customers. 

Trader Joe’s:

  • Store hours have been changed to 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. and an additional check-out line has been created for senior customers from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. 

  • Cleaning has been increased and food and beverage samples have been suspended. 

Giant Eagle:

  • Plexiglass dividers are being installed at area stores and GetGo locations.

  • Visual markers indicating appropriate social distances have been installed on floors.

  • Guests are asked not to bring reusable bags and the Fuelperks+ program promotion that gave perks per reusable bag has been suspended.

  • High-demand products will be limited.

  • Guests 60 and older, differently-abled, and immune-compromised can shop before other customers, beginning at 6 a.m.

Kuhn’s Quality Foods:

  • According to its Facebook page, the stores will adjust hours and ask customers to check its website for more information.

Walmart:

  • Stores have changed their hours to 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. to make sure associates can clean shelves and stock products. The chain also promised to keep “stores stocked and prices fair” and says it won’t engage in price gouging. 

  • Employees who wish to call off must use regular paid time off options. If an employee’s store is within a mandated quarantine area, Walmart will provide up to two weeks of pay and it will not count toward attendance. 

  • Regular eligibility for the Walmart Associates in Critical Need Trust have been temporarily waived for employees who have worked at the store for one year. 

  • All international travel has been restricted for employees.

Save A Lot:

Dollar Tree/Family Dollar:

Dollar General:

  • Seniors and at-risk customers will be prioritized during the stores’ first hour of operation

  • Stores will close an hour early so employees can clean and restock.

  • Paper products, hand sanitizer and wipes will be limited to three per customer.

  • Employees who become sick or must care for a sick family member or partner will be paid for regularly-scheduled hours.

  • All domestic and international travel has been suspended.

Costco: