As millions of Americans are staying at home to help stop the spread of Covid-19, many businesses have had to shut their doors until conditions improve. Other businesses, such as grocers, are struggling to keep up with demand while keeping their employees and customers safe. Performance Food Group Co. (PFG) has formed new partnerships in an effort to keep the food supply chain flowing, and Canadian company Chagall is offering grocers new solutions to reduce person-to-person contact during checkout.
PFG Co. announces partnerships, corporate actions
Performance Food Group Co. has announced several new partnerships and corporate actions to strengthen its business during the novel coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).
“As we all adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, our company is in a crucial position to keep our country’s food supply chain strong,” said George Holm, PFG chairman, president and CEO. “We are proud of the tremendous effort and dedication shown by our talented associates who are working tirelessly to keep people fed during this time. In addition to working with our existing customers, we have formed several new partnerships, brought in new business and shared many of our associates with organizations that are experiencing labor shortages. PFG is also diligently assessing and managing how we spend our capital so that we are in the best financial position possible. With our new partnerships and the innovation shown by our organization, we believe we can come out of this period as a stronger company.”
Over the past few weeks, PFG has taken several actions to support the customers and communities it serves, to engage its workforce in new ways and to manage its cost base. Examples of these activities include:
- Signed agreements with 10 new grocery retail partners to-date and sharing more than 1,000 associates to help keep shelves stocked with food;
- Distributing groceries to approximately 480 new grocery locations as PFG builds out its distribution capabilities to this channel;
- Entering into new partnerships to support on-line ordering for its customers through OpenMenu, Swipeby and several other third-party delivery operators; and
- Supporting its restaurant customer base by launching tools to assist the independent channel, advertise which restaurants are open and help with a transition to higher volume in take-out and delivery.
The company has taken the following measures to protect its long-term financial position:
- Drawing $400 million from its $3.0 billion credit facility which was put to cash on the company’s balance sheet;
- Halting all non-essential capital expenditure activities; and
- Suspending its share repurchase program; during the fiscal third quarter and through March 23, the company repurchased 315,100 shares for approximately $5 million or a weighted average of $15.80 per share.
“The current Covid-19 situation has created a challenging operating environment for our industry and the customers and communities we serve. PFG’s decentralized operating model allows quick decisions at the local level, which will continue to serve us well. We will remain nimble to protect our current business and continue to look for new opportunities to grow,” Holm said.
PFG is a customer-centric foodservice distribution leader headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. PFG today has a nationwide network of more than 100 distribution centers, nearly 25,000 associates and thousands of suppliers across the country. It markets and delivers food and related products to more than 200,000 locations including independent and chain restaurants, schools, business and industry locations, healthcare facilities, vending distributors, office coffee service distributors, big box retailers, theaters and convenience stores.
Chagall Design builds Covid-19 checkout equipment to help protect staff, customers
Chagall Design, a company that typically designs and builds store fixtures for grocers, is taking steps to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 by offering new solutions to reduce person-to-person contact during checkouts. Chagall’s team of designers and engineers has developed three new partition solutions that offer additional protection between cashiers and customers.
The Sliding Safety Partition is an easy-to-install solution in areas where social distancing of 6 feet (2 meters), as recommended by the CDC, is difficult to meet. The partition includes a sliding door allowing access to and from the cashier area. Available in laminated wood in size 46 inches—(extends to) 68-inches x 60-inches approximately. Multiple material and size options are available.
The Protective Screen is designed for limited installation space offering separation between cashiers and customers and reducing airborne droplets either from a cough or a sneeze. Available in plexiglass or plastic, with or without frame, in sizes 2-feet x 2-feet and 2-feet x 3-feet approximately. Multiple material and size options are available.
The Portable Barrier is a stand-alone solution to prevent direct contact by simply placing it on any counter for instant additional protection. Available in plexiglass or plastic, in sizes 2-feet x 2-feet and 2-feet x 3-feet approximately. Multiple material and size are options available.
“As Covid-19 sweeps through every industry, grocers have announced measures to limit the risks to both shoppers and staff. Our flexible business model allows us to pivot our resources toward the design, prototype and manufacturing of protective products completely in-house, including delivery and on-site installation. The safety of our employees, their families and customers is our highest priority, and we are implementing strict measures while keeping the economy strong,” said Johanne Bousquet, president of Chagall Design.
Chagall has the capacity of production and the ability to ship quickly across the U.S. and Canada.
Headquartered in Sainte-Julie, Quebec, Canada, Chagall designs commercial spaces, manufactures architectural woodwork and builds multiple ranges of store fixtures and furniture.