Natural Grocers has extended its $2 per-hour hero pay increase for its team members —known as the Good4u Crew — through May 31 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The raise became effective March 23, and $1 of it will be a permanent increase. It applies to hourly employees who work in the stores, bulk repack production and warehouses.
The company has also provided two discretionary bonuses to store crew and one to bulk manufacturing crew.
For the safety of the Good4u Crew and customers, Natural Grocers requires all in-store and manufacturing employees to wear face masks and requests that that all customers wear face masks while shopping. In addition, stores will adhere to any city, county or state orders requiring customers to wear face masks while shopping.
Before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local governments recommended wearing face masks to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, Natural Grocers required all in-store and manufacturing crew to wear face masks. With the shortage of available face masks, Good4u Crew members — including members of the Isely family, which owns Natural Grocers — and some loyal customers sewed cotton face masks for the employees.
“As always, our business decisions are guided by our Founding Principles, allowing us to remain rooted in health and rooted in our commitment to our communities and our good4u Crew throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” said Heather Isely, Natural Grocers executive vice president. “This crisis will not last forever, but our crew members have been, and will remain, heroes and deserve to be recognized for their service to the community even after this crisis has passed.”
The Lakewood, Colo.-based natural retailer operates more than 140 stores in 20 states.
According to the company, Natural Grocers will continue to abide by previously announced policies and guidelines that help protect employees and customers and maintain a clean, safe-as-possible shopping and working environment:
• All employees have been provided personal hand sanitizers to use throughout their shifts. As supplies allow, hand sanitizer is available for public use.
• All stores have markers on the floor at the register line to show 6-foot distances and social-distancing signs posted throughout the stores. Employees are respectfully reminding customers to observe social distancing throughout the day.
• A set maximum number of customers is allowed in stores at one time, based on square footage. Each store adheres to any city, county or state orders— which may be based on the square footage of the store or a percentage of maximum occupancy—regarding how many people can be in a store at once.
• Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at every register.
• A crew member will staff the front entrance of each store to clean carts for customers, remind customers to social distance, provide hand sanitizer and monitor and adhere to customer limits and face mask regulations.
• The shopping hours of 9-10 a.m. on Sundays and 8-9 a.m. on Wednesdays are available exclusively for seniors (ages 60 and older), pregnant women and individuals with underlying medical conditions.
All employees are required to take their temperatures and to check for other COVID-19 related symptoms prior to reporting for their shifts. Any employee who has a temperature of 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit or above is required to stay home until they have been fever-free and/or symptom-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs. Good4u Crew are provided with paid time off to use if they are sick and required to stay home.
Natural Grocers has also rescheduled two grand openings: Green Valley Ranch, Colo., previously scheduled for March 25, will now open on May 20, and Cedar City, Utah, previously scheduled for April 11, will now open on June 10.
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