Grocers adjust to COVID-19 pandemic

By , Daily Memphian Updated: March 17, 2020 10:29 AM CT | Published: March 16, 2020 2:28 PM CT
<strong>Shoppers look for cleaning supplies during a busy day at the CashSaver in Midtown on Thursday, March 12.&nbsp;</strong><span><strong>Memphis-area grocers are adjusting hours and ramping up efforts to clean their stores in response to the coronavirus pandemic.</strong>&nbsp;</span>(Jim Weber/Daily Memphian)

Shoppers look for cleaning supplies during a busy day at the CashSaver in Midtown on Thursday, March 12. Memphis-area grocers are adjusting hours and ramping up efforts to clean their stores in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Jim Weber/Daily Memphian)

Editor’s note: Due to the serious public health implications associated with COVID-19, The Daily Memphian is making our coronavirus coverage accessible to all readers — no subscription needed.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Memphis-area grocers are adjusting hours and ramping up efforts to clean their stores to keep customers and employees safe.

Eight of the nine Superlo Foods’ locations in the Memphis area are open every day from 6 a.m. to midnight, according to its website. The Superlo location at 2269 Lamar is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Superlo Foods said it is extending its hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, but clarification on extended hours was not immediately clear Monday afternoon. It also has added sanitation stations throughout stores, providing hand sanitizer at each checkout station and thoroughly cleaning its stores, restrooms, and food preparation areas.

“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our associates, customers, and community,” Superlo Foods said in a statement. “While we hope that the current situation does not get any worse, we recognize that the situation is very fluid. We are closely monitoring developments, and will make any updates or changes when necessary.”

As of Monday afternoon, 52 people in Tennessee have tested positive for the coronavirus, two of whom are in Shelby County. The importance of grocers has only increased with uncertainty about how long the ongoing pandemic will affect the area.

Efforts to reach a representative with Aldi were unsuccessful Monday. In a statement Saturday, March 14, Aldi said while keeping stores open is “our” highest priority, it later said some stores “will be temporarily closed or have limited hours.” 

“At this time, we cannot provide specific location information,” the company’s statement said. “We appreciate you as our customer and continue to do what we can.”

There are 11 Aldi locations in the Memphis area, and according to its website, all are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

Memphis Cash Saver’s Midtown store, on 1620 Madison Avenue, is normally open 24 hours a day, but is now closing at midnight some nights for a thorough cleaning and restocking of products.

Cash Saver’s other three locations are keeping the same hours for now, according to a statement from the grocer. Cash Saver also offers online shopping is also available for those who want to remain “social distant.”

The Fresh Market, like Whole Foods, is temporarily banning self-sampling, but customers can ask to try samples upon request. The Fresh Market has two Memphis locations and one in Germantown.

It also plans to provide customers with disinfectant wipes to use for their hands, shopping carts or baskets.

The Fresh Market is operating under normal business hours, but starting Wednesday, March 18, it will hold “special shopping hours” for seniors and those at risk for coronavirus. Those hours are between 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. 

Like other grocers, Whole Foods on Friday, March 13, released a statement about cleaning its facilities thoroughly and increasing access to hand sanitizer for customers and employees. Whole Foods is, until further notice, suspending all food sampling and demos and access to sample products from its beauty and body care departments.

The Whole Foods location in Germantown, 7825 U.S. Highway 72, is open each day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to its website. Its hours at 5014 Poplar Ave. are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Kroger also is adjusting its hours in stores across the country, but only one in Memphis has been affected so far. The East Memphis location at 540 S. Mendenhall at Sanderlin Avenue is usually open 24 hours. Now it is open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer, said commonly used areas are being cleaned more frequently including checkout, credit card machines, conveyor belts, food counters and shelves during restocking.

Employees are cleaning restrooms more frequently and extra hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout stores. Shopping carts are being wiped down and free disinfectant should be available at entrances for customers who wish to sanitize their baskets.

Walmart stores are also reducing hours until further notice to allow employees time to clean the stores and restock groceries. Walmart’s supply chain and trucking fleet will continue to move products and deliver to their stores on their regular schedules, according to its statement.

Walmart stores altering hours:

  • 8400 Highway 64, Bartlett: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • 560 W. Poplar Ave., Collierville: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • 577 N. Germantown Parkway, Cordova: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • 8445 U.S. Highway 51 N., Millington: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Some stores are keeping their same hours:

  • 3950 Austin Peay Highway, Raleigh: Open 6 a.m. until midnight.
  • 6520 Memphis-Arlington Road, Bartlett: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • 6727 Raleigh Lagrange Road, Bartlett: Open 6 a.m. until midnight.
  • 6990 E. Shelby Drive: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • 5255 Elvis Presley Blvd.: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • 7525 Winchester Road: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • 2856 Hickory Hill Road: Open 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Reporter Abigail Warren contributed to this story. 

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Topics

Superlo Foods Walmart Kroger COVID-19 Aldi
Omer Yusuf

Omer Yusuf

Omer Yusuf covers Bartlett and North Memphis neighborhoods for The Daily Memphian. He also analyzes COVID-19 data each week. Omer is a former Jackson Sun reporter and University of Memphis graduate.


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