KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The coronavirus is pushing grocery stores and other large chains that are along the front lines of the growing health crisis to change the way they do business.
Many stores have undergone changes to combat the spread of COVID-19, and more changes are likely still coming.
“We came, I think it was a little over a week ago, and we got a few stuff. But now, this is a totally different situation,” Costco shopper Sarah Olsen said.
Shoppers are not only dealing with limited supplies. Chains like Walmart and Hy-Vee are rolling out new hours of operation, in order to clean stores and restock supply. Costco capped the amount of shoppers allowed in the store to 400 at a time.
Meanwhile, sanitation practices are being enforced and in overdrive.
“Everyone was pretty good about keeping space between everybody. We brought our own hand wipes,” Olsen said.
This is seemingly the new normal for stores across the metro and nationwide.
Shoppers say through it all, they are having to develop a new way of operating and thinking about even the simplest of tasks.
“I just also thought, ‘I’m not getting a cart — just going to carry things.’ I mean, all these things, you have to rethink, but it felt good to get out of the house,” shopper Leayn Losh said. “I’ve been in the house for three days and just needed to get out, get some fresh air. It’s a big shock. You just have to really keep a new mindset.
Many stores are shifting to online as coronavirus continues to change how you shop.
Dollar General and Target are among the first stores to offer special shopping hours for senior and immune vulnerable shoppers.
To help reduce the risk of the virus spreading in their stores, some chains are encouraging customers to skip the grocery aisles altogether. Instead, they are suggesting in-store pickup or home delivery.