As grocery store employees become some of the frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic, many food retailers are taking extra precautions to keep them safe. From plexiglass to social-distancing reminders, these grocery stores have the best interests of their employees in mind as they make necessary changes to their stores to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s what some grocers are doing differently.


Target (TGT) is continuing its cleaning and sanitizing efforts with new measures in place to keep stores clean. The company has also added workers to the front of its stores to make sure carts are clean and available as needed.

The retailer is also adding decals at the checkout lanes to help customers maintain safe distances between each other as they check out. In addition, checkout lanes will be cleaned after each guest transaction, and their use rotated to allow for an even deeper cleaning between orders.

Target has also temporarily paused its fresh grocery and alcohol order pick and drive-up services during the coronavirus pandemic and has stopped accepting returns and exchanges for the next three weeks but will honor them three weeks past the holding date.

The company is also not accepting reusable bags unless a customer bags their items themselves. Paper and plastic bags will be available, and local fees for bags will be waived during this time.


Walmart (WMT) announced that it installed plexiglass barriers at its pharmacy lanes and, over the next two to three weeks, will be installing these sneeze guards at its regular registers at all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.

The retail giant has also introduced a new cleaning and sanitizing procedures for its carts to allow for quick cleaning. Walmart said it will start using Hart brand two-gallon sprayer kits to sanitize the whole cart.

The company will also install floor decals to help customers judge the six-foot social-distancing guidelines at its entrances and checkout lanes.


Kroger (KR) is undergoing more changes at its grocery stores as well, cleaning checkout lanes, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters, and shelves more frequently. The grocer is also allowing employees to wear gloves and masks if they choose to.

The company has also installed plexiglass shields at its checkout lanes, pharmacy, and Starbucks locations as well as adding informative decals on its flooring to remind about social distancing when shopping.


Costco (COST) has also reportedly installed plexiglass at its checkout lanes and is limiting the number of shoppers allowed in its store at any one time. The wholesale retailer has also stopped offering samples and has enhanced its cleaning and sanitation efforts.

Shares of Target stock were up 3.75% as of 3:20 p.m. EDT on Thursday while shares of Walmart stock were down 1.07% at the same time. Shares of Kroger stock were up 1.89% while shares of Costco stock were up % also at the same time.

Target store
Customers walk outside a Target store on Aug. 14, 2003, in Springfield, Virginia. Alex Wong/Getty Images