Area grocery stores prepare for rush, share safety tips for shoppers


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The tighter COVID restrictions hitting the Northwest have grocery stores across the region preparing for a surge in shoppers.

In Oregon, the 75% capacity limit for stores goes into effect Wednesday. In Washington, a 25% capacity limit went into effect after midnight Tuesday.

We spoke with a spokesperson from Fred Meyer who suggested shoppers should plan the logistics of your grocery shopping before you leave for the store. Shoppers are also encouraged to shop early and avoid the holiday rush.

And, you are urged to use delivery services if convenient.

“We will again adjust to ensure we are fully compliant with the new limit in Washington implemented by Governor Inslee,” Fred Meer said in a releases. “In Oregon, we also had already set the capacity limits well below the new 75% mandate from Governor Brown. We take our role as part of the critical infrastructure very seriously and will continue to make adjustments as needed to put the safety of our customers and associates first.”

Here are things that Fred Meyer would recommend for customers:

  • Plan your trip. The key to the most effective, efficient and pleasant shopping experience is to plan your trip in advance. Make a list of everything you need. It can help to group your shopping list by category (e.g., baking goods all together) or by store department, such as produce. 
  • If you plan to bring reusable shopping bags, be sure to launder them between each use and plan to bag your own groceries to minimize contact. 
  • Shop alone if possible. While we will be implementing a number of measures to keep everyone safe, it is best to minimize capacity by people choosing to shop without bringing others along. 
  • Practice safe and considerate behaviors while shopping. Everyone will be trying to navigate the holidays and their own shopping trip. We all will have a better outcome if everyone practices safety efforts while in the store, as well as being considerate to others who are also shopping. 
  • Shop early. We recommend that people try to get their shopping done as early as they can to help spread out holiday shopping. Doing so also gives people piece of mind to know that their shopping is already done. 
  • Take advantage of our Pickup or delivery service. To accommodate for increased demand, we will expand the timeslots available to our pickup and delivery customers as we get closer to Thanksgiving. We have also waived our pickup fee (a value of $4.95) for orders over $35 to provide additional value to customers choosing this no-contact option.
  • Use our app or website to take advantage of the built-in shopping conveniences and feature offers.
  • Consider trying our holiday meal solutions from the service deli. We recognize that many people will be doing smaller holiday meals, or may not want to cook. Whatever the situation, we have an assortment of options available, including turkeys, different ham selections, and even prime rib. We have a number of sides available a la cart, or a customer can make it a meal bundle with rolls and pumpkin pie. Supplies are limited so we encourage customers to place their orders early.
  • We also have lots of catering options available for various sized platters that customers can choose to shop online or in person. Catering brochures are available at our deli counters as well.

Most of the tips are, of course, transferable to the grocery store of your choice.

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