Questions and Answers
Our Customer Experience
As America’s grocer, we are committed to doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus. We continue to partner with and follow guidance from federal, state and local agencies, including the CDC and other health organizations.
Since March, Kroger has implemented more than 30 policy and process changes to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our associates and customers, including:
Enhancing cleaning procedures
- Cleaning commonly used areas more often, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.
- Adding extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters, and all pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.
- Continuing to provide our customers with free disinfectant wipes at our store entrances to sanitize their shopping carts or baskets.
- Maintaining industry-leading best practices for safe food handling.
Promoting physical distancing and healthy habits
- Supplying and requiring our associates to wear masks or face coverings and requiring customers to wear them while in our stores.
- Leveraging plastic partitions and education floor decals at check lanes and other counters to encourage physical distancing.
- Expanding contact-free payment solutions like Scan, Bag, Go and Kroger Pay.
- Offering a no-contact delivery option, low-contact pickup service and ship-to-home orders.
- Airing a healthy habits message via in-store radio to encourage customers to practice good hygiene and social distancing.
- Limiting the number of customers in our stores to no more than 50% of the building’s maximum capacity. In areas where mandated, we will follow the local and/or state agency’s guidance.
- Encouraging our customers and associates to follow the CDC's suggested hygiene practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
Kroger offers a variety of in-store and ecommerce shopping options, including Kroger Pickup, Kroger Delivery and Kroger Ship. We have also expanded our low- and no-contact services and checkout methods to help customers shop quickly and safely.
- To accommodate for increased demand, we’ve expanded the timeslots available to our pickup and delivery customers. We have also waived our pickup fee nationwide (a value of $4.95) on orders totaling $35 or more to provide additional value to customers choosing this no-contact option.
- We’re rolling out an improved Scan, Bag, Go mobile app. Customers using the feature can bring their clean reusable bags to the store where permissible—or use bags available at the store—to shop, scan and bag their groceries as they go. When a customer completes their shopping trip, they can pay with their phone, allowing them to bypass the traditional checkout process.
- Customers can also use Kroger Pay for a contactless checkout experience in several markets. Kroger recently launched an NFC contactless payment (e.g., Apple Pay and Google Pay) pilot in our Pacific Northwest QFC grocery stores.
Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve expanded our supply chain, enhanced cleaning procedures in our stores and hired more than 100,000 new workers to reinforce our continued focus on associate and customer safety. These steps have allowed us to expand store hours in select areas to safely meet the evolving needs of our customers as the country moves toward reopening.
To further encourage physical distancing, we are limiting the number of people in our stores at a time to 50% or more of the building code’s calculated capacity. QueVision, our industry-leading technology system that uses sensors and predictive analytics, helps us to monitor and maintain safe traffic flow in and out of our stores.
In some areas, we’re opening one hour early to enable seniors and other high-risk groups to shop before we open to the public. For more information on designated operating hours in your area, contact your local store.
According to the CDC, wearing a facial covering, combined with social distancing and frequent handwashing, has been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Following this guidance, we are requiring all customers in all locations wear a mask when shopping in our stores, joining our associates who continue to wear masks.
We respect and acknowledge that some customers, due to medical reasons, may not be able to wear a mask (with the exception of small children). We encourage those customers to consider an alternative option like a face shield or facial covering. If they’re unable to wear a mask or an alternative design, we request that they use our e-commerce services like pickup or delivery. To support all households during the COVID-19 pandemic, our grocery pickup service remains free (generally a $4.95 fee) on orders totaling $35 or more.
Our manufacturing facilities and suppliers are working tirelessly to accommodate increased demand for popular products. To ensure all our customers have access to what they need, we’ve temporarily set purchase limits on certain categories of items that are in high demand. These purchase limits are also applied to orders placed on our app or website.
We are committed to providing all our customers with access to fresh and affordable food. Because of increased demand and limited inventory of some products, customers may experience price increases on select commodities.
We suspended product sampling for several months and plan to resume in cities where local ordinances permit it.
Pickup & Delivery: Inventory varies by store and changes throughout the day as customers shop in-store and online. Inventory is not updated in real time. If an item shows that it’s available for pickup or delivery, availability is not guaranteed.
Ship: Our shippable inventory is updated in near-real time. We encourage customers to check our app or website to view item availability. Unfortunately, our Customer Connect associates do not have insight into item availability. Our app or website is the best source for this information.
We remain committed to providing our customers with an uplifting shopping experience and the freedom and flexibility to choose their payment method, including cash, during this unprecedented time.
The Federal Reserve is experiencing a significant coin shortage across the U.S., resulting from fewer coins being exchanged and spent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many retailers and businesses, we are adjusting to the temporary shortage in several ways while still accepting cash.
Customers can switch their payment type (e.g., use debit or credit vs. cash), and through our upgraded technology, we can now load coin change to their loyalty card for use during the next shopping trip, provide coin change at a lane with coins available or round up their order to support The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, a public charity committed to creating communities free of hunger and waste.
As part of our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment to end hunger and eliminate waste in our communities by 2025, we continue to allow our customers to use reusable shopping bags, provided there is not a state or local ordinance that prohibits use. We encourage our customers to frequently clean and wipe down their reusable shopping bags to help us maintain a safe shopping environment.
The Kroger Family of Companies now accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for Pickup across the country. The low-contact, convenient service allows customers to shop online for groceries on Kroger.com or the Kroger app and pick up their order curbside at a nearby Kroger store.
How Pickup Works:
- Choose your preferred store location on Kroger.com or the Kroger app
- Shop and place your order for groceries on Kroger.com or the Kroger app
- Select a pickup date and time and SNAP/EBT as the payment method. If you’re using an EBT card, you’ll present your payment method at the time of pick up
- An associate shops for your order
- When it’s time to pick up your order, look for the pickup signs in the store’s parking lot and pull into your parking spot then call the number on the sign to let an associate know you’ve arrived
- An associate will bring your order out and load it into your car. At this time, EBT card customers can complete their transaction via a mobile point-of-sale system and pay for ineligible EBT purchases or any remaining balance with their debit or credit card
Our dedicated associates have gone above and beyond to serve our customers and communities when they need us most, and we’re committed to providing the resources and support to keep them and their families safe as they continue their remarkable effort. This includes:
- Investing more than $1 billion since March to reward our associates and safeguard associates and customers. These investments include associate bonuses, wage premiums, store credits and fuel points, paid leave, personal protective equipment and contributions to The Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund.
- Supplying and requiring our associates to wear protective masks and requiring our customers to wear masks when shopping in our stores.
- Continuing the use of partitions and physical distancing floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
- Continuing to enact our Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider because of COVID-19 or practicing self-isolation for symptoms verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
- Offering $15 million through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19.
- Providing access to mental health services and other benefits to support associates' holistic wellbeing during this stressful time. We also offer an associate hotline to ensure benefit questions are answered quickly.
- Extending our work-from-home policy for associates in our corporate and division offices. Throughout the pandemic, our offices across the country have safely remained partially open, providing associates with the option to work from the office. We are committed to using a data-driven approach to determine our return-to-the-office plan, including what our workplace model looks like in the future.
- Offering free COVID-19 testing to associates based on symptoms and medical need.
- Continuing to provide comprehensive benefits packages, including healthcare coverage and retirement benefits.
Our Emergency Leave Guidelines provide paid time off to associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine or practicing self-isolation for symptoms verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
For those affected by COVID-19, Kroger has also made additional resources available through our Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including associates who are considered higher-risk.
Associate temperature checks have been implemented in our stores and across our supply chain (production facilities and distribution centers).
We also encourage our associates to closely monitor their health and take their temperature at home prior to coming to work. If they experience symptoms, including a fever, they are encouraged to contact their doctor and stay home. Under our expanded COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines, associates self-isolating or experiencing symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional are eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
Our total COVID-19 incident rate continues to track meaningfully below the rate in surrounding communities where we operate, resulting from the implementation of more than 30 policy and safety measures. Our stores are coordinating closely with local health departments and taking immediate action to support and safeguard our associates and customers when we learn of a positive COVID-19 case among our workforce.
We will continue to work closely with federal, state and local public health authorities as they work to coordinate our country’s response to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We have significantly decreased commercial air travel. We continue to closely monitor events and adjust our guidance accordingly. In lieu of traveling, we recommend our associates use video or audio conference tools for internal meetings as well as communication with suppliers and partners
Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., has expanded its COVID-19 testing offerings to more than 220 in-store clinic locations by appointment for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Kroger Health clinics, currently called The Little Clinic, are available in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.
Patients can access Kroger Health's free screening tool to determine if testing is appropriate for them and schedule an appointment here.
- COVIDCare Plus: On Aug. 13, Kroger Health announced COVIDCare Plus, a complete employer-focused health and wellness solution designed to help American companies restart and maintain their business operations. The testing program is centered on Kroger Health’s FDA-authorized COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit which combines self-collection with virtual supervision by a licensed healthcare professional to enhance the patient experience.
- Expanded Flu Shot Program: On Sept. 9, Kroger Health announced a comprehensive flu shot program, designed to help Americans get their recommended vaccines amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The program includes touchless in-store appointments and drive-thru vaccinations at community Flu Shot Centers across the country – both of which can be booked online. Kroger Health will also provide on-site flu shot programs for businesses and organizations.
- Rapid Antibody Testing: On Oct. 28, Kroger Health announced the launch of rapid antibody testing across its family of pharmacies to help inform patients if they have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The FDA-authorized rapid antibody tests—conducted using a finger-prick blood sample—are now available at Kroger pharmacies in California (Ralphs) and Michigan and will be available at all Kroger pharmacies and clinics by the end of November. The tests, which are supplied by Whitmire Medical, are available to Kroger customers for $25 and typically provide results within 15 minutes. Individuals who believe they may have previously been infected with COVID-19 and are not currently experiencing symptoms are eligible for the test.
Since April, Kroger Health has facilitated more than 150,000 COVID-19 tests across 19 states at drive-thru, walk-up and in-clinic testing locations.
The company, The Kroger Co. Foundation and The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation have committed more than $10 million in grants to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our family of stores is also continuing to donate food and funds to local food banks and advance hunger-relief efforts like Kroger's Dairy Rescue Program.
Since March, Kroger has provided new career opportunities to more than 100,000 workers nationwide, including those from the hardest-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels and food service distributors.
We plan to hire additional workers over the next several weeks to support our seasonal holiday business. Candidates may apply via jobs.kroger.com and could be placed for employment within several days of applying. Kroger’s average hourly wage is $15 an hour. And with comprehensive benefits factored in, our average hourly rate is over $20. In addition to competitive pay and benefits, including health care, retirement planning, tuition reimbursement and DailyPay (on-demand pay), Kroger also offers flexible work schedules, stable job opportunities and discounts on Our Brands products.
On April 21, we published the first installment of Sharing What We’ve Learned: A Blueprint for Businesses, available at KrogerBlueprint.com. The Blueprint is a resource for businesses of all sizes and sectors of the economy, providing recommendations, insights, best practices and downloadable creative assets to help businesses navigate the next phase of this unprecedented pandemic.
We will continue to add new information to the Blueprint in the coming weeks to help keep our communities safe and supported, together.