Aramark Brings Pop-Up Groceries to Hospitals

The temporary stores have gained traction during the pandemic
The pop-up retail trend has found its own new energy thanks to pandemic needs.

Pop-up shops stood as a retail trend well before the COVID-19 outbreak. But now that concept is helping to ease stress for the pandemic’s frontline workers.

Aramark said it has opened more than 100 pop-up grocery stores at healthcare facilities. Doctors, nurses and other workers can use the stores to buy “fresh baked goods, bread, milk, eggs, non-perishable items, paper towels, health and beauty aids and more,” the U.S.-based food services company said.

“These ‘mini-marts’ stock basic and hard-to-get items that Aramark is able to source through its vast distributor network. By offering a place to shop within their workplace environment, employees are saved from that extra stop before heading home to their loved ones.”

That is not the only such effort aimed at helping all those healthcare workers a chance to do essential shopping with the least amount of hassle possible. Earlier during the pandemic, for instance, 7-Eleven said opened its first hospital pop-up store at Children's Medical Center Dallas, which is the flagship operation of Children’s Health. Patients, visitors and staff can buy goods at the store.

That store provides access to food and essential items for health care workers and patient families during the COVID-19 health crisis. The pop-up store features grocery and personal care products such as take-home dairy, paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent and phone chargers as well as an assortment of fresh food options including salads, heat-and-eat entrees and take-and-heat pizza and wings.

In the U.K., food retail operators Tesco and Costcutter have separately set up pop-up groceries in some 20 hospitals in all, according to reports. “The new pop-up stores will provide key (healthcare) workers with access to everyday essentials such as bread and milk,” one report said about the ongoing Costcutter effort. 

As for Aramark, it said its pandemic relief efforts also have included the distribution of 36 million free meals to students, many of whom faced going without as many calories as was the case when schools closed to help stem the spread of the virus. As well, “in the communities Aramark serves, employees have banded together at hospitals, schools and other facilities, providing safe and hygienic meals, uniforms, refreshments and facility services,” the company said. “To date, Aramark has donated over 175,000 pounds of food and PPE to local organizations.”

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