Food City to provide masks for employees, no limit on customers in stores

Local Coronavirus Coverage

ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Food City will soon be providing employees with masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Food City President and CEO Steve Smith said in a press conference on Tuesday that employees who want to wear gloves and masks are encouraged to do so, and employees will soon be provided with masks.

Smith also said that as of Tuesday, there is no limit on the number of customers that can enter Food City stores.

Smith reiterated that the coronavirus has shown no evidence of being a foodborne illness.

Food City has begun precautionary measures like sanitizing the shopping carts and adding barriers between customers and cashiers.

During the press conference, Smith asked customers to continue to only shop for their weekly needs and stop hoarding certain products.

Smith said there has been an uptick in how Food City stores are able to restock each week, and they are attempting to stock as many supplies as possible.

After being asked about increasing prices, Smith said certain items like eggs and ground beef will cost slightly more because, unlike man-made products, the production of those foods cannot be instantly stimulated.

Other items that have seen spikes in sales include paper towels, bath tissue, Ramen noodles and household cleaners.

Previously, Food City had been looking to hire 2,500 associates to help relieve the work load of other employees.

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Smith said on Tuesday those positions were quickly filled and those new hires have been an invaluable addition.

Smith also said fuel prices were significantly lower during the pandemic, and he encouraged customers to take advantage of their fuel trips with the low prices.

On Easter, Food City stores will be open from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. as opposed to regular hours.

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