One-Way Aisles, Customer Limits Coming to 2 DC-Area Grocery Chains

Safeway supermarket sign.
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Expect big changes this week in how two grocery store chains in the D.C. area try to keep shoppers safe.

Giant Food and Safeway each announced they will implement one-way aisle traffic and limit store occupancy in all D.C.-area stores by the end of the week.

Giant will have the policies in place Thursday and Safeway will have them in place Friday.

Each chain will place arrow markers on the floors of aisles to indicate traffic direction. At Giant, signs will be placed in stores to remind customers to stand six feet apart from each other. At Safeway, lines will be placed on the ground at checkout stations and places where lines are formed to help customers stay at a safe distance from each other.

Giant will limit in-store occupancy to 20% of each store’s overall capacity and an associate will be stationed at the entrance to track customer flow. Safeway also will have an associate at the front entrance to manage traffic.

Safeway will allow one person per 150 square feet during normal business hours and one person per 300 square feet during special hours reserved for seniors and other vulnerable customers.

Safeway and Giant are maintaining previous practices such as enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, obtaining personal protection equipment for associates and installing Plexiglas shields at registers.


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Interim President of Giant Food Ira Kress said they the company is continuing to learn and adapt to new ways to promote safe social distancing practices in stores.

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