Retailers

No Print Circulars, Banning of Reusable Bags: Coronavirus Brings About Unexpected Changes

Hy-Vee, Schnucks and Redner’s all make unprecedented changes
Photograph: Shutterstock

Times they are a changing and times are weird. The coronavirus has brought about many changes in stores, from shortened hours with designated shopping times for at-risk customers to limits on purchases of certain items, but some changes are more unexpected.

Hy-Vee, for one, is suspending the production and distribution of its weekly circular distributed in stores. High demand for certain items and the suppliers’ inability to ensure adequate supply of those products advertised in the circular are the reasons for the suspension of the print advertisement. Customers may have still received the current week’s ad because it was already printed for newspapers, and the stores will honor the prices for the items if they are in stock.

Hy-Vee’s social media pages and Hy-VeeDeals.com will continue to feature the retailer’s sales and promotions.

Hy-Vee has also moved its grocery delivery to third-party partners, shortened its store hours and closed its dining areas and bars in accordance with federal mandates of limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer. The foodservice areas remain open for carry-out.

Schuncks Closing Customer Service Desks

Another retailer making an unprecedented move is St. Louis-based Schnucks, which announced that it is closing 81 of its 112 courtesy centers or customer service desks. Those team members are being redeployed to the check lanes in order to ensure timely checkouts for customers and get them through the lines as quickly as possible. The customer service desks will reopen when traffic levels return to customary levels, the company noted in a statement.

Redner’s Bans Reusable Bags

Redner’s Market, with stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, has asked customers to not bring in reusable bags for the duration, noting that the bags themselves can be carriers for the coronavirus and could cause it to spread further. Instead, the cashiers will automatically use single-use plastic bags until further notice. Delaware’s single-use plastic bag ban does not take effect until January 2021, and neither Pennsylvania nor Maryland have such bag bans in effect.

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