The largest US supermarket chain shut down a store to the public so it can fill only online orders, and it’s a brilliant strategy amid the growing threat of the coronavirus outbreak

Kroger is shutting down a store to the public so it can focus only on online orders.

caption
Kroger is shutting down a store to the public so it can focus only on online orders.
source
Kroger
  • Kroger is shutting down one of its stores to the public so it can focus only on filling online orders.
  • Kroger is testing the pickup-only model as it faces surging demand for online grocery services amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Kroger on Wednesday shut down one of its Ohio stores to the public so it can focus entirely on filling online pickup orders, the company said.

The nation’s largest supermarket chain is testing the pickup-only store model in response to surging demand for its online grocery services amid the coronavirus outbreak.

This is a brilliant strategy for three key reasons:

  • By shutting down to the public, the store will slash the number of people entering the store, and therefore reduce the risk of infection to employees who work there.
  • It should also provide employees with more space to socially distance between each other while working to fill orders.
  • Finally, the strategy should make it easier for the store to rapidly fill online orders. Most of the staff can focus on these orders instead of working cash registers or helping customers, and employees filling orders won’t have to dodge customers in the aisles.

For now, the test is limited to a single store in Cincinnati located at 4630 Aicholtz Road. Pickup is available at the store from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

“The pickup-only model is ideal for all customers, especially for senior and higher-risk shoppers,” said Erin Rolfes, corporate affairs manager of Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton division.

For customers without internet access or who prefer shopping in-store, there are five nearby Kroger stores that remain open to the public.

Kroger also announced this week that it would install plexiglass shields at all its cash registers and allow its employees to wear masks and gloves on the job.

“Our associates are on the frontlines, ensuring Americans have access to the food, services and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic,” the company said. “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates.”