When news broke of coronavirus coming Stateside, residents across the country fled to supermarkets to stock up on water, milk, bread, toilet paper and canned/boxed goods.
In order to allow more time for associates to unload deliveries, stock shelves and better serve customers throughout the day, Stop & Shop as a company, for example, adjusted its hours of operation to 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at most stores beginning March 16.
Effective March 19, Stop & Shop created hours specifically geared to accommodate customers 60 and older, who are at greater risk of contracting the virus. Stop & Shop stores will open from 6-7:30 a.m. only for customers over the age of 60 who the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and local health officials say are most vulnerable.
“Stop & Shop is making the decision to allow community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. Although Stop & shop will not be requesting ID for entry, they request that we all respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for our older neighbors. Stop & Shop will reserve the right to ask customers to leave if they are not a member of this age group.
“Stop & Shop is continuing to maintain high levels of hygiene and sanitation in its stores and online operations. We’re also taking additional measures during this time, which include wiping down checkout areas including the belts and pin pads with disinfectant even more frequently. We will continue to follow guidance from the CDC to help keep our customers and associates safe,” a statement from the company read.
According to Stefanie Shuman, external Communications manager for Stop & Shop, the company has seen increased sales on items like hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, Lysol sprays, bleach, antibacterial soap and other cleaning products.
“Customers are also stocking up on paper goods and non-perishable items like rice, canned soups, canned vegetables and pasta sauce. These sales trends are similar across all states in which Stop & Shop operates,” she said in an interview.
Some health and beauty care products, as well as cleaning products – including Purell hand sanitizer and Lysol disinfecting wipes – are limited in supply, she said.
“At this time, fixed amounts of those products are being distributed to U.S. retailers. As soon as quantities become available to Stop & Shop, we work quickly to re-stock our shelves and make them available to our customers,” she said. “We are also working swiftly to identify similar, alternative products and brands that may be available in the marketplace to ensure our customers have access to the items for which they are looking.”