Kroger stores to limit number customers, test one-way aisles

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Kroger is implementing new rules to help protect its employees and customers from coronavirus. (FILE Photo: KUTV)

Kroger is implementing new rules to help protect its employees and customers from coronavirus.

Beginning Tuesday, the grocery store chain will cut the number of customers that are allowed in a store at one time in half.

The company says customer traffic will be monitored through technology. The change is an effort to promote social distancing, with the goal of flattening the curve of the spread of coronavirus.

Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket operator, also announced it will try one-way aisles to help maintain social distancing. This includes Smith's Drug and Food Stores in Utah.

“Smith’s introduction of customer capacity limits is one more way we are doing our part to flatten the curve while operating as an essential business, providing our customers with access to fresh, affordable food and products,” Kenny Kimball, President of Smith’s, stated in a press release. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”

Under the new reduced capacity limits, the number will be 1 person per 120 square feet.

According to CNN, its testing one-way aisles in certain markets to determine if they are effective in providing distance between customers.

Last week, Kroger announced a pay increase of $2 for all of its workers.

Kroger will pay all of its grocery workers, including supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates, a "hero bonus" for working on the frontlines of the crisis.

The bonus will amount to a $2 premium above their standard base rate of pay for hours worked from March 29 through April 18.

The Kroger Co. Family of Stores includes:

  • Baker’s
  • City Market
  • Dillons
  • Food 4 Less
  • Foods Co
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s
  • Gerbes
  • Harris Teeter
  • King Soopers
  • Jay C Food Store
  • Kroger
  • Owens Market
  • Pay-Less Super Markets
  • QFC
  • Ralphs
  • Smith’s Food and Drug