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Mar 19, 2020

Loblaw cutting store hours to help with sanitization, employee strain

Greg Newman discusses Loblaw

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Loblaw Companies Ltd. is cutting its store hours to increase sanitization and reduce employee strain, according to its executive chairman.

In an email to customers, Galen G. Weston said that Loblaw stores would only be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on a daily basis, "starting now," with the first hour of operation to be reserved for seniors and customers with disabilities. 

“You will have noticed that shopping volumes in your local store remain high. And while the flow of goods is stable, our incredible store teams are exhausted and concerned. ... We need to look after them,” he wrote.

Weston also announced that Shoppers Drug Mart would be cutting store hours “based on the needs of each community,” and encouraged customers to check online for specifics.

“I realize they will lead to a very different experience shopping in our stores,” Weston wrote about the adjustments. “Some of these concepts may not work as intended. If they don't, we will adjust to get them right. But, we believe they are essential.”

“We ask for your patience and support as we do our best to keep our stores open and operating as safely and effectively as possible, for our colleagues, and for you.”

The email also outlined plans to limit the number of customers allowed in certain stores at the same time, to be determined based on the size of each location. The company is also increasing the amount of pre-packaged food in store departments – notably seafood – to minimize the amount of handling between packaging and customer consumption.

The letter is the latest in a series of missives from Weston to customers. Earlier this week, he urged customers not to worry about the company’s ability to keep its shelves stocked.