Natural Grocers Announces Coronavirus-Related Updates Including Additional Health Insurance Benefits, Updated Store Hours And An Extra Shopping Hour Exclusively For Vulnerable Populations
LAKEWOOD, Colo., April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Grocers has announced new and updated company-wide policies as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the communities which it serves and its good4uSM Crew. The updated guidelines include additional COVID-19 related health insurance and healthcare benefits for the good4u Crew, updated store hours, and a second special shopping hour dedicated to vulnerable populations.
- Starting on Monday, April 6, all stores will close at 8:05 p.m. so that the company's good4u Crews can restock and thoroughly clean their stores.
- Natural Grocers is now offering two shopping hours exclusively for seniors (ages 60 and older), pregnant women and individuals with underlying medical conditions. Anyone included in these categories may be accompanied by someone if they need assistance shopping.
- Every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- Every Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
- The new store hours will remain in effect until further notice and apply to all 157 Natural Grocers stores located in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
- The front entrance of each store will be staffed with a Crew member who will clean carts for customers as they enter, and ensure social distancing measures are being followed.
- All stores will have a set maximum number of customers allowed in at one time based on square footage. All stores will adhere to any city, county or state orders regarding how many people can be in a store at any given time, which may be based on square footage of the store or a percentage of maximum occupancy.
- Natural Grocers has hired 700 temporary workers dispersed through all stores to assist with cleaning and stocking.
GOOD4U CREW UPDATES
- All Crew are being provided with disposable gloves and face masks. Since there is a shortage of masks, multiple Crew members from all parts of the company have made masks for in-store, distribution center and bulk manufacturing good4u Crew.
- Natural Grocers has implemented multiple benefits to support the good4u Crew during the pandemic including raises, bonuses, and additional paid time off availability. Now the company will pay for all Coronavirus/COVID-19 fees for Crew who have medical insurance benefits through Natural Grocers, including:
- COVID-19 diagnostic visits - Natural Grocers will pay for these diagnostic visits, so that Crew will not incur any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19-related visits with in-network providers, whether at a provider's office, urgent care center, emergency room, or via virtual care, through May 31, 2020.
- COVID-19 testing - Natural Grocers will pay for this testing, so that Crew will not incur any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 FDA-approved testing through May 31, 2020.
- COVID-19 treatment - Natural Grocers will pay for this treatment, so that Crew will not incur any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19-related treatment provided by in-network providers through May 31, 2020.
In addition to the above, Natural Grocers previously announced the implementation of additional critical policies and guidelines related to the Coronavirus pandemic, including:
- To support Natural Grocers' store and bulk manufacturing Crews and to acknowledge the vital service they are providing to the community, Natural Grocers has provided a $2 per hour pay increase effective March 23. $1 per hour will be permanent and $1 per hour will be temporary through May 3, 2020. The company has also provided two discretionary bonuses to store Crew and one to bulk manufacturing Crew that have been paid out over the last 4 weeks.
- Natural Grocers is providing up to 2 weeks of paid leave to all good4u Crew (both full-time and part-time) if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they are placed under mandatory quarantine by public health authorities. If Crew are ill but cannot get tested for COVID-19, Natural Grocers will provide up to one week of paid leave.
- Plexiglass sneeze guards are being installed at each register to help mitigate potential exposure. Additionally, customers are asked to bag or box their own purchases. If a customer places a reusable bag or other personal item at the bagging station, Crew will clean the bagging station before assisting the next customer.
- Home delivery is available at most Natural Grocers through Instacart (www.instacart.com/natural-grocers).
For all Natural Grocers' updates related to the Coronavirus pandemic, please visit: https://www.naturalgrocers.com/few-more-updates-regarding-coronavirus. To locate the closest Natural Grocers store, visit the store directory.
About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC; NaturalGrocers.com) is an expanding specialty retailer of organic and natural groceries, body care products and dietary supplements. The company offers a flexible, neighborhood-store format, affordable prices and free, science-based nutrition education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices. Founded in Colorado in 1955, Natural Grocers has more than 3,500 employees and operates 157 stores in 20 states.
SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.