Stores like Foodland, Down to Earth implementing changes to grocery shopping

Coronavirus

Starting Monday, Foodland will require employees and customers to wear a mask when shopping. Foodland CEO, Jenai Wall said the change is following the recommendations of wearing masks by the governor.

“By wearing a mask, you protect others around you, and we think there is no harm in doing that. We think it helps our employees to feel safe. It helps our customers feel safe in the store,” said Wall.

But if you don’t have a mask, Foodland said they are working to make masks available for purchase at stores. They will also be limiting how many people can enter their stores. Groups of more than two people will not be allowed in. More information on this can be found at their website.

“We’re giving people a little bit of time to adjust and to think about how they’ll find their mask, and to plan their shopping accordingly,” said Wall. “We didn’t want to make it happen right away because we knew it was a change for people, but we hope it’s one that everyone will embrace.”

Similarly, Costco began doing this last week.

“You know the less people, the less chance of spreading [COVID-19],” said Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii president.

Yamaki said many stores are stepping up their safety procedures.

“We are seeing sneeze guards coming up or those plexiglass between the cashier and the customer because sometimes it’s not really six feet apart,” said Yamaki.

At some stores you don’t even have to go in to get your groceries, like Down to Earth.

“We have a number of ways to order, you can go to our website… you can actually schedule what kind of timeframe you want to pick up your order, and a team member will come and bring your groceries out to you,” said  Sisi Kong, Down to Earth community leader.

Down to Earth is also one of the stores that offers grocery delivery to homes. More information can be found at their website.

However, Yamaki said it’s not only up to stores, but the public should also try to limit the amount of time spent at a store. That’s where making a list of what you’ll need will come in handy.

“I actually went through my pantry to see actually what I have and took stock of it, and things I thought I had nothing of, I had six or seven of,” said Yamaki. “So, know what you have at home before shopping and buy what you need.”

She said when you’re in the store, you should also try to limit what you touch.

“Don’t touch all of the products, just touch what you need. I know we have a tendency to squeeze fruit and you know touch the bread to see how fresh it is, but you know just touch the ones that you’re actually going to purchase,” said Yamaki.

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