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CA Grocers Asso. Safe Holiday Shopping Tips

November and December are traditionally the two busiest months for the grocery industry.  Dave Heylen, the spokesperson for the California Grocers Association, is asking consumers to plan ahead for their holiday grocery shopping. Heylen says “The holidays might look different this year, but there’s still turkey to carve and your loved ones’ favorite sides to share.”

To help keep shoppers and essential workers safe and healthy during this holiday season, California’s grocery community asks consumers to plan ahead, wear a mask, and maintain social distancing when visiting their favorite neighborhood store.

“The industry has been preparing for an uptick in demand and in-store visits,” said California Grocers Association President & CEO Ron Fong. “These preparations include streamlined arrangements that make it easier to pick up your turkey or pre-cooked sides.” To alleviate shopper congestion during the build-up to Thanksgiving, many grocery stores have expanded e-commerce partnerships and access, hired additional staff members, added cooler and freezer capacity, created Thanksgiving meal and turkey pick-up stations, and expanded private-label offerings.

With numerous counties statewide tightening their coronavirus-related restrictions, greater demand will be placed on grocery stores, including maintaining occupancy rates below 100 percent. For example, counties in the red and purple tiers must keep their stores at 50 percent of in-store capacity.

“We want to encourage Californians to shop early so that we can avoid over-crowding stores in the run-up to the holidays,” Fong continued. “By preparing well in advance and avoiding last-minute trips to the grocery store, we can minimize lines to enter stores and keep our fellow shoppers and essential worker safe.”

  1. Plan your holiday meals at least two weeks in advance. Buy non-perishable items ahead
    of time. Utilize designated turkey pick-up stations, if available.
  2. Consider online options such as delivery or curbside pick-up for ordering your turkey or
    pre-prepared Thanksgiving side dishes.
  3. Bake in extra time for your visit during the holiday season. Grocery stores will be enforcing
    state COVID-19 mandates that limit store occupancy.
  4. Avoid visiting a store during the week of Thanksgiving, if possible.
  5. Always wear a mask when inside the grocery store.
  6. Keep a distance of two shopping carts between you and your fellow shoppers and
    grocery store employees. Do not crowd the check stand.
  7. Consider shopping during off-peak hours to avoid store crowding. Do not bring extra
    people to the store if at all possible.
  8. Treat essential grocery employees with kindness. Be patient as they go about their work
    including additional cleaning protocols, and offer a hearty “thank you” when you can.
  9. Inspect items with your eyes instead of your hands to limit unnecessary handling of store
    products.
  10. Only buy what you need for your holiday meals. There is enough for all.

The California Grocers Association is a non-profit, statewide trade association representing the food industry since 1898. CGA membership includes approximately 300 retail companies operating more than 6,000 stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 200 grocery supplier companies.

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