As part of a $1 million investment in its associates, which includes April bonuses for frontline associates and accelerated scheduled quarterly bonuses for store and department managers, Rouses Markets is one of several grocers that will close its stores on Easter Sunday, April 12, to give its 7,000 employees an additional paid holiday — and a well-deserved break.
Other retailers that will be closed on Easter Sunday include Costco, Target, Publix, Aldi, Sam's Club, Trader Joe's, Southeastern Grocers and Sprouts Farmers Market.
“We want everyone to have the full day to spend time with family,” said Donny Rouse, CEO of the Thibodeaux, La.-based grocer.
The company has also been providing store employees meals on their breaks since the COVID-19 outbreak began, and, through the end of May, is giving associates and their immediate family members free access to telehealth program Ochsner Anywhere Care, regardless of whether they have health insurance. Employees can connect to a licensed health care provider to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan, or speak with a licensed therapist without having to leave home.
“I have never been more proud of our team than I am today,” noted Rouse. “They have been absolutely remarkable in taking care of our customers during an incredible time of need.”
In common with other grocers, Rouses has also boosted in-store protections to support associates and customers, including stringent cleaning routines, the ongoing installation of plexiglass partitions at checkout, floor markers at checkout lanes to aid social distancing, and having cashiers sanitize checkout areas after each customer transaction. Other retailers, notably Kroger, Walmart and Target, are also paying out bonuses to reward workers for their dedication in a time of crisis.
“We know what an essential role our team members play during this pandemic, and we are doing everything we can to keep them — and [shoppers] — safe,” added Rouse.
Rouses has 64 stores in Louisiana, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in lower Alabama. The company made its debut last year at No. 47 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.