Giant Food is joining other grocery chains limiting the number of shoppers inside to help promote social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The D.C. regional grocery chain announced two new social distancing policies being put into effect across all of its stores: store capacity limits and one-way aisles.
Beginning April 9, Giant is implementing a customer count limit in its stores. Occupancy will be limited to 20% of each specific store's overall capacity, taking into consideration shelving and display fixtures. To manage customer occupancy limits, an associate will be stationed at the front entrance tracking shopper flow. Signage will be placed at front entrances communicating the updated occupancy limits.
Giant is also implementing one-way aisle traffic across all stores to support social distancing and improve the flow of customer traffic. Arrow markers on the floor will designate traffic direction throughout the aisles and associates will be available to point customers in the correct directions. Signage will also be available in store to remind customers to observe six feet of distance from others.
"We are continuing to learn and adapt to the new ways of working during this challenging time and believe that these additional measures will allow us to further promote safe social distancing practices in our aisles to keep our customers and associates safe," said Ira Kress, interim president at Giant Food. "We will continue to look for ways to make shopping as safe and easy as possible to keep our doors open as we provide this essential service to our communities."
Giant Food joins Walmart, H-E-B, Hy-Vee and many other grocers rushing to implement measures that socially distance shoppers.
In previous weeks, Giant Food has implemented other policies including designating special shopping hours for senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals, increasing sanitizing and disinfection procedures of "high-touch areas" across all stores, equipping associates with personal protection equipment (PPE) like plastic face shields as well as disinfecting wipes, gloves and hand sanitizers, and installing plexiglass shields at cash registers, pharmacy counters and customer service desks. Giant Delivers has also implemented contactless delivery.
Giant Food is headquartered in Landover, Md., and operates 163 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia with approximately 20,000 associates. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.