Kroger, more stores announce capacity limits, other changes

Kroger adjusting how many people are allowed in its stores

ATLANTA — Weeks after adjusting its stores’ hours, Kroger has announced more changes in an effort to keep shoppers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kroger will limit the number of people in its stores, as of Tuesday. Under the new capacity limits, it will be one person per 120 square feet.

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“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.”

Kroger is using infrared technology to measure capacity limits. The company also just finished installing plexiglass barriers and buying masks for all its associates. It will also test one-way aisles.

Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose was at a Kroger in Marietta, where the parking lot was filled with cars. Jose watched shoppers go inside all afternoon, many wearing masks.

Jose talked to Lisa McAbee, a wife and mother of two, who said she’s usually the parent who shops for the groceries. She thinks the limit on customers at Kroger will calm some nerves.

“You really have to get your head right for grocery shopping in these types of conditions,” McAbee said. "In the early stages of quarantine of going out and shopping for my family, I found it difficult to stay away from people in the store.

The latest change at Kroger comes weeks after the grocery chain announced new hours for its stores; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The company also said it is hiring more people for its stores. You can check out any open positions at jobs.kroger.com.

Kroger is also offering freepick up nationwide.

Kroger isn’t the only grocery store announcing changes.

Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott noticed that on a recent trip to Publix, shoppers were separated from each other and given the option to use contactless pay on their phones, no swiping neccessary.

“They had blue tape in every checkout line, 6 feet apart,” Ott said. “They had blue tape in front of the pharmacy. They had all of these shields at all of the check out counters.”

Target said it’s monitoring store traffic and will limit the number of guests when needed. Walmart is limiting five customers per 1,000 square feet.

“You have to be patient,” McAbee said. “You have to be flexible. Some of the things you want are just not available and that’s OK."