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Columbia Business Monthly

Southeastern Grocers Expands Safety Precautions, announces BI-LO, Other Stores Will Close Easter Day

Apr 04, 2020 03:32PM ● By David Dykes

Jacksonville, Fla.-based -Southeastern Grocers, Inc., parent company of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie, said it will close its grocery stores on Easter Sunday, April 12, to provide employees a day of rest with family. 

The company said it is also introducing additional precautionary measures to help limit the exposure of employees and customers to the coronavirus.

 “Southeastern Grocers is a people-first company, and our associates and customers are at the heart of our business," said Anthony Hucker, Southeastern Grocers' president and CEO. "I am extremely proud of our associates who are going above and beyond to serve our customers. The decision to close on Easter Sunday was made to allow our heroic associates a day to rest and find comfort with their families. 

"We are grateful for the kindness many of our customers have shown our associates. Now more than ever, we need to promote kindness to all of those who are on the front line striving to make our communities safer and stronger. Together, we will support our neighbors, and continue to provide the safest possible shopping environment for our customers.”

To facilitate social distancing and prevent overcrowding, Southeastern Grocers will limit the number of customers shopping in select stores. Beginning this week, all BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores will conduct temperature checks for employees when they report to work to ensure a safer atmosphere for them and for customers.

Additionally, employees can wear masks and gloves in all stores, and the company will provide protective items where supplies are available, officials said.

Among other safety standards to help alleviate community concerns, Southeastern Grocers has installed Plexiglas partitions at all store registers, customer service desks, pharmacies and liquor store counters; as well as a comprehensive cleaning process; designated shopping hours for high-risk customers and extended shopping hours for first responders and health care professionals. 

Customers are asked to maintain a two-cart-length distance throughout the store and at checkout by using floor markers set to encourage social distancing. Customers are also asked to continue using touch-free payment options at all BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie registers.

With the exception of Easter Sunday, all BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores will continue to close nightly at 8 p.m., company officials said.

The change allows employees extra time to restock store shelves and to conduct additional sanitation procedures, the officials said.

The grocer will continue to dedicate the first opening hour to high-risk customers, as well as extend shopping hours for health care professionals and first responders on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8–9 p.m. "to allow these heroic individuals the opportunity to stock up on essential products," the officials said.

For updates on how stores continue to respond to COVID-19, please visit www.bi-lo.com/community/covid19response, www.frescoymas.com/covid19response, www.harveyssupermarkets.com/community/covid19response and www.winndixie.com/community/covid19response.

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