Coping with COVID-19 in the retail sector

By Lois Ann Dort    
March 25 2020

GUYSBOROUGH – In the new reality of the COVID-19 crisis, grocery stores across the country have seen a large increase in demand for certain goods and an unfortunate hoarding mentally surrounding the availability of others; toilet paper and hand sanitizer being top of the list.

Meeting the needs of customers and keeping employees safe have been top of mind for local employers, including the team at Avery’s Independent Grocer in Guysborough. New measures have been adopted, including a maximum of 15 customers in the store at any time, a line on the floor near the checkout indicating the designated two meters required for social distancing, closure of the middle checkout to reduce the physical proximity between customers and staff, and a seniors shopping hour in the morning to reduce possible contact between seniors, who are at greater risk from the virus, and other customers.

In an email interview, the proprietors of Avery’s Independent told The Journal that it was “very hard to give any information at this time, as things are changing / updating by the hour.

“Generally speaking, there are and will be some items shorted, but we are keeping up with the demand well. We are cleaning all the time; carts, baskets, register area, handles, doors, etc. with sanitizer.

“The staff are doing amazing, we are all working together to keep calm, and stay well,” they said.

In addition to these measures, as of Tuesday, March 24 the store will take grocery orders and pack items ready for pick up.