ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In a 24/7 industry, convenience retailers are adjusting their business hours, cleaning practices and foodservice policies to ensure customers stay safe as they pick up needed food and fuel during the COVID-19 crisis.
Some 7-Eleven locations in the U.S. will be open for fewer than 24 hours daily for enhanced sanitation measures. “Out of an abundance of caution, and unless otherwise noted below, your local 7-Eleven may be closing between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. daily for enhanced sanitation measures,” the retailer said. An updated list of locations and hours is available on the company’s website.
In Malaysia, 7-Eleven stores have returned to the chains original operating hours, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily until further notice, reports Vernonchan.com. In a statement on its Facebook page, the Malaysian chain reiterated that it “remained dedicated to being convenient in meeting all your essential needs while ensuring the community and our workforce remain safe.”
Wawa stores are open, but the company said it is adjusting store hours and implementing overnight closures between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. to allow additional store cleaning, sanitation and stocking. Wawa workers are now serving coffee and bagging bakery items, rather than having customers serve themselves. In addition, Wawa has enhanced its strict cleaning and quality standards by increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all touch points and surfaces.
Giant Eagle is installing plexiglass dividers to checkout and customer service areas in Giant Eagle, Market District, Pharmacy and GetGo locations, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “The vast majority of Giant Eagle and GetGo stores are expected to have the modifications completed by the end of the week,” Giant Eagle said. Other grocers have announced similar moves, including Albertsons, Safeway H-E-B, Schnuck and Dierberg markets.
Love’s has converted roller grills, coffee and drink bars and delis to full-service at its travel stops, with team members assisting customers, the chain announced on its website. At all locations where Love’s has restaurants (there are three), one of them will be closed, and beginning today, new restaurant hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. Love’s restaurants will continue to offer take-out and drive-thru options during these new hours but not during the overnight closure.
Love’s said it will follow all local and state mandates for operations to help ensure the health and safety of customers and team members. For example, the state of Wisconsin has mandated that all self-serve food, such as fruit, fountain beverages and roller grill items, be temporarily removed for sale statewide.
Pilot Flying J also is complying with state and local mandates, which it outlines on the company’s website. The chain is focusing on increased sanitation and reminding truck drivers of the mobile-pay feature, which lets them place orders and reserve showers without touching a public pin pad.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.