Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, place retail workers directly on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic. Trucchi’s Supermarket has made a number of changes to help keep everyone safe.
The grocery chain has implemented “Senior Hours” from 6 – 7 a.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 7 – 8 a.m. on Sundays for those ages 60 and over, as well as customers with weakened immune systems who may be more susceptible to COVID-19.
According to a statement on the company’s Facebook page, “Trucchi’s does not want to encourage seniors to venture out, especially if you are sick or more vulnerable. Senior Hours should be considered as a last resort. First ask a CNA or a family member to shop for you during normal hours.”
Plexiglass shields were also installed earlier in the week in an effort to protect cashiers as well as customers. There are also markers on the floor to encourage customers to keep a six-foot distance between each other.
In addition, front end employees are asked to wear gloves and change them regularly, as well as encouraged to wash their hands often.
“I’m very happy to see the shields in place as the people working the front end really have to cater to the customers,” said Ellen Howley, a customer service clerk of the Abington store.
“The shields cover the belt area up to the PIN pad, so it’s definitely an improvement,” she said. “We’re constantly cleaning everything in between and have every other register open for social distancing.”
A new feature Trucchi’s has added is the option of “contactless payment” where the customer taps their cellphone to the PIN pad for payment using features such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. This lessens the exchange of cash and debit or credit cards to COVID-19 exposure.
The pandemic may be encouraging a greater sense of comraderie among customers.
“I notice people are calling and texting others more of what they need and what they can drop off to them than they normally would,” said Howley. “I think in this chaotic time, most people seem a bit more humble and thankful as every day it changes and we are learning together as we go.”
(DISCLAIMER: This article was written by Michele Christian who has family members employed at Trucchi’s. None of which were interviewed for this article).