Here's what Loblaws is doing to respond to increased demand and social distancing
While it may feel like all the businesses you know and love have been forced to shutter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can take comfort in knowing that the country's grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open to provide essential products.
Some stores are certainly struggling with increased demand and how to ensure social distancing within their stores, but a letter from Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited Galen Weston aims to reassure customers that they're doing everything they can to help Canadians in these trying times.
Loblaws is now dedicating the first opening hour of shopping to our customers who need assistance or consideration, including seniors and people living with disabilities.— Loblaws (@LoblawsON) March 17, 2020
Check with your local store for any other changes to operating hours.
"Those who went shopping recently will have seen extraordinary numbers of people in stores, long lines, and aisles empty of product," Weston said in the letter.
"This was a result of extreme levels of buying as millions of Canadians stocked up their kitchens and medicine cabinets. I’m sure the many photos of bare shelves on social media only increased your level of concern," he continued.
"First and foremost. Do not worry. We are not running out of food or essential supplies."
Weston said their supply chain and store teams are responding to the spikes in volume and quickly getting the most important items back on shelves. He said volume is beginning to normalize and that, aside from hand sanitizer which may take a little longer, they are in relatively good shape.
Weston also said Canadians should not worry that PC stores will increase prices in order to profit from the current situation, promising that they "will not raise a single price on any item to take advantage of COVID-19."
He added that their stores are doing everything they can to encourage social distancing despite keeping stores open, including implementing measures such as limiting the number of people in stores at any given time as well as asking customers to keep a certain distance from each other.
The letter also references the fact that some stores have begun offering dedicated hours for seniors and people living with disabilities to come in before the crowds.
The company has lowered delivery prices and eliminated pick up fees for anyone using PC Express options like click-and-collect and home delivery, but Weston said anyone who is healthy, mobile, and symptom-free should do their best to make it into the store to leave other options open for those who may need it.
"Over the last few days, it has been remarkable to witness Canadians supporting one another in our aisles: Bags carried to cars. Crowds parting so young moms could check out. Cheers for speedy cashiers. Customers helping stock shelves," Weston wrote.
"One example in particular stood out. A few days ago, someone stuck a handmade sign to the front of a store. It reads 'Be kind.' This is great encouragement to cap off perhaps one of the most-tense weeks of our 100 years running stores, and to help all of us prepare for what is next."
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