During this time of unprecedented demand in the grocery industry, Smart & Final has hired more than 750 temporary workers to help current associates with cleaning and stocking, said President and CEO Dave Hirzin an open letter to its customers on March 23.
“We’ve hired more than 750 new employees in just six days, and we are continuing to welcome individuals with a desire to help their communities until their affected businesses recover,” Hirz wrote.
In addition to expanding its workforce during the coronavirus pandemic, the Commerce, Calif.-based retailer has also extended its store hours to provide a dedicated time at 7:30 a.m. every morning to allow seniors, expectant mothers and customers with disabilities an opportunity to shop before the store opens to the public. It has adjusted its store hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to ensure its associates have more time to clean and restock.
Hirz said Smart & Final is managing the flow of traffic into its stores and staggering its checkout traffic as needed to maintain social distancing. “We are asking that you follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines for social distancing while you are in our store and parking lots,” he added.
Smart & Final is conducting cleanings at the top of every hour, with a focus on check stands, pin pads and other high-frequency touch points.
In appreciation of its associates, Smart & Final is providing a $2.25-per-hour increase to the compensation of all regular store associates, retroactively back to March 9 and lasting until April 5.