Kroger limits customer capacity at all stores in response to COVID-19

1 person per 120 square feet

Midtown Pick 'n Save storefront, photo courtesy of Roundy's

Last updated on April 8th, 2020 at 12:22 pm

The Kroger Co., the parent company of Milwaukee grocery store operator Roundy’s Inc., will reduce the number of shoppers allowed inside each of its stores to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Beginning April 7, the Cincinnati-based retailer will limit the number of customers to 50% of the international building code’s calculated capacity, the company announced Monday afternoon in a press release.

The move is intended to promote social distancing measures recommended by public health officials.

Roundy’s has 106 Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market stores in Wisconsin.

“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,” said Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger’s senior vice president of operations. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”

The standard building capacity for a grocery store is 1 person per 60 square feet, but under Kroger’s new reduced capacity limits, the cap is 1 person per 120 square feet, the company said.

Kroger is not the first retailer to adopt such measures.

Eau Claire-based Menards has limited customers at all stores to adults only and is rolling out plans to check customers’ temperatures as they enter each store building. Minneapolis-based Target is actively monitoring the number of customers in its stores and, when needed, limit the number based on square footage.

Kroger said it will monitor the number of customers in its stores using its QueVision technology, which already counts the customers entering and exiting stores using infrared sensors and predictive analytics.

Kroger’s limit on customer capacity is an addition to a number of other safety measures many grocery store chains across the country have put in place to reduce customer and employee exposure to the coronavirus, including protective face masks and gloves for employees, plexiglass partitions and six-foot markers at check-out lines and adjusted store hours.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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