PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — New Seasons Markets will only be letting a certain number of customers inside at a time in an effort to maintain social distance between shoppers and protect staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
Some select stores rolled out the new policy over the weekend, and all stores will adopt the practice starting on Monday, March 23. The capacity limits will vary depending on how large the individual grocery stores are. New Seasons said the company is working on a “digital process” in which customers can wait in their cars or take a walk around the block until it is their turn to go in and shop—that feature is expected to be available this week.
The grocery store chain has also asked that customers “limit store visits to one person in their party to help minimize wait times.”
Store hours were shifted to allow staff more time to stock shelves and clean the stores for customers—the markets will now open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. The first hour of business every weekday (Monday through Friday) will be dedicated to high-risk customers only. New Seasons’ Community Care Hour is specifically for those who are at risk of severe illness, are immunocompromised, seniors, or pregnant. The chain’s Wednesday senior discounts were expanded to Monday through Friday as well.
Additionally, New Seasons Markets are temporarily no longer using reusable bags to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Store employees were given their own set of new policies as well, which included bonuses for their hard work, extended paid time off for illness and childcare, and an increased store discount and shopping time.