Lidl opening new Gwinnett location with coronavirus precautions

A new Lidl grocery store is opening in Peachtree Corners without its usual fanfare due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A new Lidl grocery store is opening in Peachtree Corners without its usual fanfare due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There will be no ribbon cutting or other opening celebration in order to avoid unnecessary crowds, according to a company release. Instead, when it opens on May 13, the store will launch right into the practices other locations have been using to try and protect customers and workers from exposure to the virus.

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The store will limit the number of customers to five per 1,000 square feet. That’s a limit of 80 customers for the new 16,000-square-foot Peachtree Corners location.

An employee will manage the number of people inside and direct people to safely form a line outside when the limit is reached. Signage and audio announcements in the store will direct customers to social distance.

Protective barriers will be in place at checkout counters to protect cashiers and customers. The store also encourages contactless payment, which most often takes the form of a customer swiping or inserting their own credit card instead of using cash for a transaction.

“The city appreciates the enhanced measures Lidl has in place to ensure its customers and its employees will be able to shop and work in a safe and healthy environment during this time while we all must alter the way we live and interact with others,” Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason said in a press release. “We look forward to shopping at Lidl’s new Peachtree Corners store.”

It is not clear whether the store will have any purchasing limits on high-demand or limited-supply items. Lidl has no company-wide limits, but stores can put them in place when necessary, a company spokesman said. Companies including Costco and Publix have placed limits on how much of certain products each customer can buy, including meat and flour.

For people at the highest risk of contracting coronavirus — people aged 65 and older and those considered immunocompromised —there are designated shopping hours. These people can shop from 7 to 8 a.m. Immunocompromised employees and employees over age 65 are also eligible for paid administrative leave, the company said in a release.

Lidl has committed to providing up to 14 days paid leave for any employees who test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. All of the company’s employees, including part-time workers, are eligible for health insurance.

The reversal of Gwinnett’s back-to-school order for teachers and other staff was issued Wednesday after the public outcry from teachers and district workers.