Kroger implements customer capacity limits nationwide

Kroger said today it would limit the amount of customers in each of its family of stores nationwide to further encourage physical distancing in stores.

Starting Tuesday, the Cincinnati-based retailer and its family of stores will begin to limit the number of customers to 50 percent of the international building code’s calculated capacity to allow for proper physical distancing in every store.

“Kroger’s introduction of customer capacity limits is one more way we are doing our part to flatten the curve while operating as an essential business, providing our customers with access to fresh, affordable food and products,” Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger’s senior vice president of operations, said in a statement. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”

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The standard building capacity for a grocery store is 1 person per 60 square feet. Under Kroger’s new reduced capacity limits, the number will be 1 person per 120 square feet. Kroger will begin to monitor the number of customers per square foot in its stores using its industry-leading QueVision technology, which already provides a count of the customers entering and exiting stores.

“By leveraging QueVision, our technology system that uses infrared sensors and predictive analytics, we will be able to more efficiently support our new capacity limits, creating a safer environment for our customers and associates,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief technology and digital officer.

The move follows the recent stay-at-home order extension announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine that essential businesses in the state would be required to set a limit to the number of customers it can safely have inside a store at one time.

Kroger’s new customer capacity limits joins other measures the retailer has established over the last few weeks to promote physical distancing, including the addition of plexiglass partitions and educational floor decals and airing of a healthy habits message via in-store radio to encourage customers to practice good hygiene and spatial awareness.

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