SpartanNash has instituted an additional round of bonus pay for more than 16,000 part- and full-time hourly frontline associates during the coronavirus outbreak.
Hourly employees at SpartanNash’s 155 company-owned supermarkets, Caito Foods facilities and 18 distribution centers will receive an extra $2 for each hour worked between April 5 and April 25. Its supermarket banners include Family Fare, Martin's Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, VG's Grocery and Dan's Supermarket.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash noted that pay boost comes on top of a weekly appreciation bonus of $25 for all hourly frontline associates between March 1 and April 25. The food distributor also raised the employee discount in its company-owned stores to 20% off during the same time span.
“Our world is changing rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic, but what hasn’t changed is the unwavering commitment of our family of associates, who are on the front lines ensuring our neighbors, customers, military families and those most at risk receive the essential food, medicine and groceries they need,” Interim President and CEO Dennis Eidson said in a statement. “These financial incentives are our way of giving back to the hourly frontline associates who are giving so much during these unprecedented times.”
SpartanNash has augmented its safety measures for workers and customers as well. All associates can wear gloves and face masks, and the company said it has purchased masks and gloves for all frontline associates at its distribution centers, supermarkets and Caito facilities. The personal protective equipment (PPE) is slated to be available by mid-April.
Inside stores, 1,420 36-square-inch plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at every cashier station, deli counter, pharmacy, coffee kiosk, customer service center and fuel center checkout, according to SpartanNash. Sneeze guards were also installed in distribution center receiving areas. And to encourage social distancing between customers and associates, signs and floor markings were placed at service desks, delis, pharmacies, self-checkouts, checkout lanes and other locations throughout stores.
Associates, too, have been instructed to take their temperature at home before coming to a SpartanNash location, and on-site health status screenings are performed upon arrival, the company said.
On the benefits front, SpartanNash said it has extended sick leave to ensure that associates who are sick or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 stay home until symptom-free. The expanded sick time provides a maximum of 80 hours of paid leave. Other benefits available to all associates include telemedicine visits, employee assistance programs for mental and physical well-being, child care assistance and prescription drug coverage. Telemedicine visits and coronavirus testing fees have been waived since the onset of the pandemic.
“Our greatest asset is our family of associates, and that has never been more clear than in the past few weeks,” stated Yvonne Trupiano, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. “Both the frontline bonus pay and the associate appreciation bonus are our way of saying ‘thank you’ for all the work that has been done to date – and all the work that is yet to be done.”
SpartanNash also is bringing in extra hands to bolster its workforce. In March, the company announced a program to hire displaced workers and students in its nine-state retail footprint and 14-state distribution network for temporary jobs. More than 1,300 new hires have been recruited and on-boarded over the last two weeks, the distributor reported.
Staffing for the Fast Lane online grocery service also is being ramped to up to meet a more than threefold increase in the number of customers that way, SpartanNash added. Currently, 68 of the company’s stores offer Fast Lane and provide home delivery to 45 ZIP codes.
For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.