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Wegmans response to COVID-19 (April 16)

Press Release

Thu, Apr 16th 2020 08:00 pm

From Wegmans corporate:

Store Hours

We are temporarily changing our hours of operation to better serve our customers and communities.

Our Brooklyn store, Woodmore (Maryland) store, and New Jersey stores are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All other stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and North Carolina stores are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Changes in our Stores and Restaurants

We have temporarily closed:

  • Self-serve areas in coffee, prepared foods, bakery and bulk foods
  • Market Café seating areas
  • All in-store pubs
  • Select burger bars
  • Amore
  • Next Door

Supporting our Communities

At times like these, everyone is called on to come together and support one another. One of our highest giving priorities is providing food for people at risk of hunger. The best way to do this is by supporting local food banks that can provide food directly to people in need. Given the unknown duration and overall impact of this crisis, Wegmans is donating $4 million spread across all our partner food banks. We will continue to support our partners and adapt as needed.

Supporting our Employees

For more than 100 years, we have operated under the premise that we can only achieve our goals if we first meet the needs of our people. Never before has that been more important than right now. As a thank you to our employees who are working tirelessly to serve the needs of our customers, we are increasing their pay by $2 an hour during the months of March and April.

We have long offered disability paid sick leave for all employees, part- and full-time, that is above and beyond all statutory requirements. Our COVID-19 disability paid sick leave goes a step further by offering employees a fully paid leave that starts on day one and eliminates the need for medical documentation from the health care provider. Our paid time off plans are more generous than traditional vacation plans and give our employees the flexibility to use the time how they choose, whether it’s for vacation, sickness, or caring for a family member.

We’ve also made every effort to accommodate employees who are more vulnerable by offering them the opportunity to move into different roles. Our COVID-19 job-protected voluntary leave gives employees the opportunity to take time unpaid if they are uncomfortable being at work.

Employee Wellness Checks

As we strive to keep our stores a safe place during this uncertain time, we are now requiring employees to go through a wellness check before the start of each shift. During the screening, employees are asked to answer a few questions and get their temperature taken with an infrared thermometer. Anyone exhibiting symptoms, or with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, will be asked to go home (with pay) and contact their medical provider. Anyone who doesn’t have a doctor can take advantage of a telemedicine option for the care they need.

Customer Face Covering Mandates

We strongly encourage customers to wear a face covering while shopping in our stores in accordance with any local or state mandates. We are focused on complying with these mandates, while keeping the health and safety of our employees and customers a top priority, and that includes minimizing the likelihood of conflicts in our stores. Short of refusing entrance to our stores, we are doing everything we can to educate our customers of the mandate and stress the importance of voluntary compliance to keep themselves and everyone around them safe. We have put a number of social distancing measures in place throughout our stores, however we continue to follow the guidance of the CDC, which recommends people wear a face covering when out in public to help slow the spread of the virus.

Health and Safety Enhancements in our Stores

As part of our everyday practices, we follow strict food safety policies and procedures, above and beyond what is required of us to ensure a safe environment for all. We continue to reinforce employee education regarding viral prevention and encouraging them to stay home when they don’t feel well. Still, we are taking additional measures to help ensure the health and safety of our employees and customers:

•Along with additional hand sanitizer stations, we implemented deep-cleaning procedures in our stores, distribution centers and offices. This includes additional sanitation of high-contact touch points (weight scales, door handles, shopping carts, etc.) as well as an increase in the frequency of our everyday sanitation practices throughout the day and reinforced by overnight staff.

•There are new cashier guidelines for front-end processes and register cleaning and sanitation.

•We encourage social distancing by placing visual indicators on all our front end and in the pharmacies to limit exposure while customers wait.

•Plexiglass shields are being installed at our pharmacies and front-end registers.

•We are providing masks for employees.

•We are operating our stores at 15-20% of their maximum occupancy and have good practices in place to ensure we are staying within those limits. This is a companywide initiative and something we’ve been enacting at the store level as needed

Protocols for Employee Positive Test Cases

The personal health information of our employees is private. At all times, we strive to protect the identity of our employees and respect their privacy, while still keeping everyone safe as we provide a vital service to our communities.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, we thoroughly investigate each situation in partnership with the local health department, as follows:

•A triage team of experts has an immediate, in-depth conversation with the employee to offer support, determine when symptoms started and with whom they had close contact. If needed, we’ll also review schedules, time punches, and in-store video footage.

•We connect with any employees who are determined to be at risk for the transmission of the virus, take them out of work, and pay them through our COVID disability paid sick leave for the length of their quarantine.

•We provide information to the local health department to confirm who should be quarantined and for how long.

•If it is determined there is a risk to the general public, we will partner with the local health departments to alert our people and customers.

Senior Shopping Hours

We understand that certain retailers are offering dedicated senior shopping hours early in the morning. First and foremost, we do not see this as solely an elderly issue; there are other susceptible populations that also need support. Our stores are continually being cleaned and sanitized – we feel they are clean all the time, not solely when they open. We do not believe putting an entire population of highly susceptible people together in one location, at one time is a good idea.

In addition, products arrive at each of our stores at different times throughout the day. Because of this, we cannot guarantee the availability of the key items these customers would be looking for during a specific set of hours.

Lastly, there are many wonderful people and community services in every market who can serve as a resource for those who fall in these susceptible populations. As always, we are proud to provide incredible customer service to all, and any customer requiring additional assistance accessing our products or services should visit the service desk. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to monitor and adjust accordingly.

Supply and Demand

Coronavirus is impacting the retail industry around the world. While the unexpected increase in demand has challenged the supply chain, we’re seeing it start to equal out, and are confident it will stabilize as long as we all prioritize our needs.

We have placed purchase limits on categories that are in high demand, allowing us to meet the needs of as many customers as possible. Although we may not have every variety available, we are working hard to give our customers options in each category. We continue to receive shipments to our stores every day.

E-commerce

We’re seeing an increase in our e-commerce business and expect that demand will continue to grow. Due to high demand, grocery delivery and curbside pickup times are limited, and orders are taking longer to be shopped. We encourage customers to keep checking the available windows, as they do open up.

Hiring

During these uncertain times, our stores continue to hire for positions throughout all our markets. Please check out the openings closest to you at jobs.wegmans.com.

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