Kroger announced it would restrict the number of shoppers in its stores across the United States in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, starting on Tuesday, April 7.
“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, in a statement on Monday.
She added: “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”
Kroger also owns chains Pick n’ Save, Roundy’s, Harris Teeter, Fry’s, Ralphs, QFC, Food 4 Less, and more.
Kroger said that under the new requirements, it will allow one person per 120 square feet, which effectively halves the standard capacity for a grocery store.
Meanwhile, the firm said it will use a “technology system that uses infrared sensors and predictive analytics” that will allow store operators to “more efficiently support our new capacity limits, creating a safer environment for our customers and associates.”
The move follows decisions made by Walmart and Target last week to limit the number of customers at stores nationwide.
“Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity,” according to a release from Walmart.
Target also announced a similar measure to promote social distancing as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus continues to spread. The Minneapolis-based firm wrote in a news release that starting April 4, it “will actively monitor and, when needed, meter guest traffic in its nearly 1,900 stores nationwide to promote social distancing.”