Kroger limits number of customers allowed in stores at once

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Kroger is doing away with single-use plastic bags, replacing them with reusable bags across all stores. “As part of our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment, we are phasing out use-once, throw-it-away plastic bags and transitioning to reusable bags in our stores by 2025." Some experts estimate that 100 billion single-use bags are thrown away every year in the United States. The QFC brand of stores will be the first to lose the bags, followed by all other lines in the family of stores.

Kroger already installed plexiglass partitions and began hiring 20,000 more workers to help during the coronavirus pandemic

Kroger is making more changes to its stores nationwide amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The grocer, which has 50 stores in Georgia, announced Monday that starting this week, it would limit the number of customers allowed inside the store at one time. The move is an effort to further encourage physical distancing inside stores.

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“Kroger'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,” said Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger's senior vice president of operations. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”

Changes to how many people will be allowed in stores began Tuesday.

Standard building capacity for a grocery store is 1 person per 60 square feet, according to a Kroger press release. New  reduced capacity limits will put the number at 1 person per 120 square feet. Kroger will begin to monitor the number of customers per square foot in its stores using QueVision technology.

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“By leveraging QueVision, our technology system that uses infrared sensors and predictive analytics, we will be able to more efficiently support our new capacity limits, creating a safer environment for our customers and associates,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief technology and digital officer.

The move comes after the Cincinnati-based chain made other changes to protect store associates and customers due to the coronavirus.

In March, Kroger altered store hours for high-risk shoppers. It also previously installed plexiglass partitions at pharmacies, checkout lanes and Starbucks locations at stores. Kroger will hire 20,000 more workers to help with needs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Employees have also been permitted to use masks and gloves, which the store is working hard to obtain. Kroger has also cleaned commonly used areas more frequently. Plus, to encourage physical distancing in checkout lanes, floor decals have been placed.