On Tuesday, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), introduced the FRNT LINE Act. This bill would provide payroll and income tax relief for essential workers, such as grocery industry associates, who have continued their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more here.
The pandemic has brought a sales boom for grocers, but it is also reshaping the avenues that retailers use to interact with shoppers, Jeff Wells writes. He notes that the loss of traditional staples, such as salad and hot bars, means grocers need to find innovative new ways to engage with socially distant shoppers, such as the recent introduction of a robotic salad bar at Heinen's. Full story can be read here.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, some Missouri counties and municipalities have begun issuing orders that require people to wear masks while in public. In some places, businesses can face fines if they do not adhere to the orders.
Each order has unique caveats about where and when masks are required. Missourians are strongly encouraged to follow orders in their own regions as well as review local orders before traveling to another part of the state.
You can see view the ordinances below for each county or city (as of July 23rd). Since last week, Cape Girardeau County has introduced an ordinance. (CLICK ON CITY FOR MORE INFO)
COUNTY MASK ORDERS:
Cape Girardeau County
St. Louis County order
MUNICIPAL MASK ORDERS:
North Kansas City
St. Louis City
If you would like a "Wear a Mask" sign for your store, click HERE to view and print one.
Top Senate Republicans are pushing to give federal courts jurisdiction over lawsuits stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a temporary set of legal protections. The proposal, authored by Sens. McConnell (R-KY) and Cornyn (R-TX), would temporarily offer schools, businesses, health-care providers and nonprofit organizations legal protections when people allegedly exposed to COVID-19 sue them. The Senate GOP plan resembles the recently introduced H.R. 7528, the Get America Back to Work Act. To read the proposal, click HERE.
Grocery prices are expected to increase by 3% on average this year. This would be the highest increase in grocery costs the country has experienced since 2011, and it would see grocery prices rising faster than the cost of food from restaurants and fast-food chains. Read more.
You can see view the ordinances below for each county or city (as of July 16th). Since last week, Joplin and Springfield have introduced an ordinance.
(CLICK ON CITY FOR MORE INFO)
Gov. Mike Parson signed multiple bills into law, including legislation that will allow nursing home residents and their families to install surveillance cameras; ensure free COVID-19 testing if recommended by a doctor; and prevent state contractors from boycotting Israel. Parson vetoed a bill that would have restricted special taxing districts. Some city officials viewed the bill as a threat to development projects.
Two new grant programs totaling $50 million aim to help Missouri businesses amid the coronavirus. A $30 million program for small business upgrades and $20 million worth of grants for producing personal protective equipment are both funded by the federal CARES Act. You can learn more HERE.
Sheltering in place. Social distancing. Face mask required.
With COVID-19 affecting virtually every aspect of our lives, changing the way we shop for groceries is no different. Status quo and conventional wisdom have gone out the window, replaced by a new normal of “contactless pickup,” “one-way store aisles” and other necessary measures. As customers adapt to a new way of shopping, grocers and retailers must also adapt.
Pre-COVID 19, convenience already was highly valued by consumers and that has only increased exponentially in quarantine.
Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt have seen their daily downloads surge by 218 percent, 160 percent and 124 percent, respectively.1
Making changes to boost customer traffic in grocery stores will require flexibility, nimbleness and creativity.
Restaurants have done a good job of creating appealing and convenient offerings to diners in the wake of restaurants being shuttered. Real world examples include offering more “grab and go” offerings, selling raw beef and pork in takeout kits and introducing alcohol delivery.
How can grocery stores continue to generate more traffic and increase beef and pork sales during quarantine?
Here are a few ideas:
And here are a few general grocery store suggestions not specifically related to fresh meats:
Whatever you decide to do to try and boost traffic, just be sure you do something. Daily life post-COVID 19 will be completely reshaped and changed by this virus. Taking steps to position your business to succeed is crucial to the future of your store. Now is not the time to “ride out the storm.” It’s time to be proactive, creative and inventive.
The Missouri Grocers Association | 315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907