Two Midwest grocery companies are making the health and well-being of their associates a top priority during the ongoing public health crisis. The Kroger Co. and SpartanNash are installing plexiglass at cash registers and other high-traffic locations. Kroger also is taking additional steps to protect its associates.
A spokesperson for the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company says Kroger is committed to protect the health and safety of its employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Associates now are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and Kroger says it fully supports America’s healthcare workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need.
“We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers—after healthcare workers—to have access to protective masks and gloves,” the spokesperson said.
Kroger associates continue to enhance their daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas more often like cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters and shelves.
The company now is installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers, to further promote physical distancing. Many stores are beginning the installation process this week, and every checklane should have a partition, including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers, within the next several weeks. In addition, Kroger is installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at checklanes and other counters.
Kroger has adjusted store operating hours across the country to allow more time for our associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.
Kroger has enacted Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with Covid-19, placed under mandatory quarantine and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
For those affected by Covid-19, the company also has made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to Covid-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk.
“We believe all these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers,” the spokesperson said.
SpartanNash to install point-of-sale sneeze guards in all retail stores, pharmacies, fuel centers
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based SpartanNash has begun installing 1,420 36-inch square, clear plexiglass sneeze guards at its 155 corporate-owned retail stores, pharmacies and Quick Stop fuel centers as an added measure of safety for its family of associates and store guests. Every cashier station, deli counter, pharmacy, customer service counter and Quick Stop fuel center checkout will have the added safety measure installed by April 3.
The sneeze guards are made from plexiglass and are more impact resistant than glass, while retaining similar optical qualities. These sanitary barriers are easily sanitized using non-abrasive cleaners. In keeping with SpartanNash’s commitment to adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines while redoubling its sanitation and cleaning procedures, the sneeze guards will be sanitized at least every 30 minutes.
“As we navigate these uncertain times, our company has two top priorities: the well-being and safety of our family of associates, customers and communities; and supporting health officials and government leaders to contain the virus,” said Tom Swanson, SpartanNash’s EVP and general manager of retail operations. “We have been a trusted provider of grocery products for more than 100 years, and we take this responsibility very seriously. The sneeze guards are an added measure of safety for our associates and customers. Our teams are working diligently to get them installed as quickly as possible.”