As the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, continues to spread throughout the United States, several businesses are implementing their emergency preparedness plans. The Kroger Co. Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen has issued the following statement on how it is dealing with Covid-19:
“At Kroger, our customers are like family. And like you, during these last few weeks we’ve been focused on doing all the things we need to do to keep our families safe and healthy,” McMullen said. “As America’s grocer, we’re here for our customers and communities when they need us most, with open stores and openhearted hospitality.
“We believe that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials, especially in times of uncertainty. That’s why our teams are working so hard to keep our stores clean, open and stocked. That’s why we took the precautionary step on March 2 to limit the number of cold, flu and sanitary products per order…so everyone can have access to the items they need. And that’s why our supply chain teams are working to ensure that the food, medicine and cleaning supplies our customers need are reaching our stores as quickly as possible and are available through our pickup, delivery and ship services.
“We activated our preparedness plan several weeks ago, and we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation. We’re following guidance from federal, state and local agencies, including the CDC and other health organizations,” McMullen said.
Kroger is taking the following steps to protect its customers and associates:
In our stores
- Cleaning commonly used areas more often, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.
- Sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, including soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer.
- Adding extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters and all pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.
- Wiping down shopping carts, baskets and equipment.
- Partnering with our suppliers to replenish high-demand preparedness products.
- Continuing to provide our customers with free disinfectant wipes at our store entrances to sanitize their shopping carts or baskets.
- Following best practices for safe food handling, as always.
For our associates
- Encouraging our associates to closely monitor their health and well-being.
- Providing hand sanitizer and tissues in breakrooms and meeting rooms.
- Asking our associates to stay home if they, or someone in their household, are sick.
- Providing financial support from our Helping Hands fund— a company-sponsored employee assistance fund—to associates who may be directly affected.
- Suspending business air travel for associates through March 31, and recommending virtual meetings.
For our customers
- Encouraging our customers to follow the CDC’s suggested hygiene practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Recommending that our customers also practice safe food handling at home.
“In everything we do, we’re guided by our values and our purpose: to feed the human spirit. We strive to make decisions that balance the safety of our associates with our commitments to our customers and communities,” McMullen said. “And above all else, we’ll be there for our communities when they need us most.”