Retailers

One Way Is the New Way In-Store

Retailers converting aisles to one direction
walmart
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

Coronavirus has wrought many changes in stores, including new sanitation practices and battle pay for staff. The latest change: one-way aisles.

Retailers large and small are implementing this new traffic pattern because traditional grocery aisles are often too narrow to allow for the proper 6 feet of social distancing. Hy-Vee is placing new, one-way directional signage in its aisles that will be installed in all stores, along with a request for one person per cart in the store. The stores’ signage will direct customers to use aisles in a way that prevents them from passing one another. DeCicco & Sons, with eight stores in Westchester County, N.Y., also is converting its aisles to one direction.

Kroger also announced plans to test one-way aisles in some of its stores. Walmart is also implementing the change in its stores after testing the concept in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Walmart said its one-way aisles are also accompanying more stringent measures regarding capacity in stores, with regulated entry capped at 20% of capacity.

Industry experts have long bemoaned  grocery layouts that tend to force customers into tunnel-like aisles. It is possible the pandemic could have the added outcome of forcing retailers to rethink their layouts.

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