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April 9, 2020
Fresh Thyme, a chain of farmers-market-style natural foods stores in the Midwest, is enacting additional safety measures to protect both shoppers and employees from coronavirus.
Beginning today, Fresh Thyme is asking customers to limit the number of people who accompany them to the store. Leadership and employees realize, however, that some people do need assistance while shopping.
"Fresh Thyme's primary focus is to provide a safe environment for our customers and team members," Fresh Thyme Farmers Market President Gerald Melville said in a released statement. "We thank our customers for their ongoing support, and we are dedicated to keeping the Fresh Thyme community healthy during this challenging outbreak."
The chain also is limiting the number of shoppers in each store at one time so shoppers and employees can follow social-distancing directives. It did not specify how it would do this, but other retailers are putting employees at the entrance to help shoppers queue and wait until there's more room in the store.
Fresh Thyme will implement other new procedures as soon as possible:
Conduct daily health screenings and temperature checks of team members as they arrive at the store.
Provide gloves for team members to wear while they work, and supply masks as they become available.
Complete installation of protective plexiglass shields at all checkout lanes.
Add signage and broadcast announcements to educate customers about proper social distancing.
These policies are meant to enhance the safety measures Thyme Fresh already implemented, including reduced shopping hours to support deeper cleaning; dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens, vulnerable customers and essential workers such as health-care providers and employees; and floor decals to designate 6-foot zones in places customers congregate, such as deli counters and checkout lanes.
Fresh Thyme also suspended Wednesday Double Ad Day, beginning April 1, to increase the amount of inventory in the stores and to reduce the number of customers in the stores.
Source: Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
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