Albertsons Companies is installing “sneeze guards” in its checkout lanes as a protective barrier between customers and associates during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The Plexiglas solutions will be installed in the grocery retailer's 2,200-plus stores over the next two weeks, with many locations being complete in the next several days. The retailer operates stores under 20 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.
“We recognize that we provide an essential service to our communities,” said Vivek Sankaran, President & CEO. “We are doing everything we can to provide a safe, secure, and comfortable shopping space for our valued customers. This is an extra step to protect our associates who are in constant contact with the public and provide our customers with extra reassurance as well.”
The retailer has also added special shopping hours for seniors and other vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated. The company is asking non-seniors and non-at-risk shoppers to avoid shopping at these times.
In addition to the installation of Plexiglas, the stores have taken a number of precautions, including pausing self-service operations like soup bars, wing bars, and salad bars. Stores are enhancing measures to clean and disinfect all departments, restrooms, and other high-touch points of the store throughout the day, as well as a deep cleanse at the end of each business day.
Cart wipes and hand sanitizer stations continue to be available at key locations within the store for customers’ convenience.
The retailer is also asking associates to follow CDC guidelines, wash hands frequently, and stay home if they feel sick.