Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has adopted customer capacity limits in stores to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The number of people allowed inside stores will be limited to 50% of building code capacity to allow for proper social distancing.
“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. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”
The standard building capacity for a grocery store is 1 person per 60 square feet, but under Kroger’s new limits, the number will be 1 person per 120 square feet. The company will begin to monitor the number of customers per square foot using QueVision technology, which is already in use to count customers entering and exiting stores.
“By leveraging QueVision, our technology system that uses infrared sensors and predictive analytics, we will be able to more efficiently support our new capacity limits, creating a safer environment for our customers and associates,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief technology and digital officer.
The new capacity limits join other measures Kroger has established over the last few weeks, including adding plexiglass partitions and floor decals. The company is also encouraging associates to wear masks and gloves, which they have ordered and are expected to begin receiving across the country by the end of the week.
Kroger is also asking its workers to closely monitor their health and take their temperature before coming to work, and if they do show symptoms, the company is urging them to stay home and to contact health officials. The retailer has also begun testing one-way aisles in select stores to determine the efficacy to support social distancing.