As the coronavirus Covid-19 affects communities across the nation, Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe’s says it is being vigilant; heeding all federal, state and local health advisories; and where it makes sense, adjusting efforts to safeguard the health and safety of its crew members and customers. To date, these efforts include:
- Revising Store Hours for All Trader Joe’s Locations: In addition to reducing store hours and closing all locations at 7 p.m. to support crew members in taking care of one another and its customers, Trader Joe’s has continued to evaluate its response to support customers who are most vulnerable to Covid-19. Stores now dedicate the first hour of operation every day (either 8-9 a.m. or 9-10 a.m., depending on the store) to serve senior customers over the age of 60 and customers with disabilities who may need additional assistance while shopping.
- Prioritizing Good Hygiene Practices: Trader Joe’s is providing continuous reminders about good hygiene practices and supporting its crew members with necessary resources. For instance, ensuring every crew member at the registers has the opportunity to regularly wash their hands.
- Increasing Routine Cleanings: In line with its longstanding commitment to provide a safe and clean shopping environment, stores have increased the frequency of cleanings, paying close attention to high touch areas such as restrooms, register areas, grocery carts and hand baskets.
- Additional Paid-for Sick Time to All Crew Members: Crew members have been asked to exercise increased precautions to safeguard their health and the health of their community, including staying home if they have any symptoms of illness or do not feel well. To better support each crew member in making community-minded decisions, since March 2 Trader Joe’s has been providing up to two weeks of additional paid sick time to crew members who have any symptoms of illness.
- Thank You Pay For All Crew Members: In recognition of the outstanding, inspiring work being done by crew members, as they continue to take care of customers and their communities, a $2/hour additional “thank you” wage is being applied for every hour worked. Moreover, during this time, the company has offered crew members a few additional ways to qualify for and maintain health insurance. “We want crew members to have the opportunity to take extended time off without repercussions to their benefits,” the company says.
- Introducing Practices to Support Social Distancing: Understanding one of the most common ways this virus spreads is between people who are in close contact with one another (within six feet for 10 minutes or more), Trader Joe’s stores have taken measures to ensure their customers and crew members maintain appropriate distance to avoid close contact. The company is limiting the number of people in its stores; monitoring and marking the distance between customers waiting in line outside and at checkout; having every other register open (and alternating open registers for regular cleanings); suspending the use of reusable bags; and paying careful attention to what is happening throughout the store, continuing to remind and encourage customers and crew members to practice social distancing.
- Installing Plexiglass Barriers: To further support social distancing efforts and prevent the potential spread of the virus, Trader Joe’s is installing temporary plexiglass barriers at all of its check stands as quickly as possible, beginning with the areas of the country that have been hardest hit by Covid-19.
- Personal Protective Equipment for Crew Members: As the situation evolves, Trader Joe’s continues to look to the CDC as well as state and local health officials for guidance on best health and safety practices. It provides all crew members with gloves, should they choose to use them, and emphasize that they do not replace proper hand hygiene, which is one of the most effective protections from Covid-19. In line with current recommendations from health authorities, we also have provided our crew members with face masks and are urging that they use them for their protection and the protection of those around them.
- Continued Communication: The company is closely monitoring the situation, and regularly providing all of its stores and crew members with the most up-to-date safety guidance, as recommended by the CDC and other health officials.
- Addressing Possible Exposure to The Virus In Our Stores: Trader Joe’s believes in being proactive and transparent in addressing issues, and it values information and clear communication. With this in mind, it has temporarily closed some stores related to Covid-19 concerns, including for additional precautionary cleaning and sanitization. All crew members at the respective locations have been informed and understand the steps to take to best safeguard the health of their communities. While a store is closed, Trader Joe’s pays all crew members for their scheduled shifts.
- Keeping Stores Stocked with Great Values: The company understands that during this extraordinary time, providing for the essential needs of customers is as vital as ever. “We’ve been working closely with our partners throughout the supply chain to ensure that our stores remain well stocked with the products our customers need and want, as always ensuring we are maintaining great values—providing the best quality products for outstanding prices.
- Neighborhood Shares Donations: It’s been a long-running policy of Trader Joe’s to donate 100 percent of products that go unsold but are safe for consumption. In this time of crisis, it has continued this important everyday effort to support people in need in its communities.
“We face this unprecedented challenge together as a community, and we are deeply grateful to all our crew members, customers, and vendor partners, each of who continues to play a vital role in our effort as your neighborhood grocery store,” the company says.