Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Heart of England Co-operative Society has implemented a series of measures to ensure the safety of colleagues, customers and members in the wake of Covid-19.

The measures are now in effect at the Society’s network of 35 Food stores in Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire as the retailer and its team join the national effort to stop the spread.

The Society has reduced its opening hours from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society, said the reduced hours will ensure stores are cleaned, stock is replenished, and under-pressure staff are rested in between shifts.

Mr Kurji outlined a series of further measures implemented at all stores.

These include:

  • Imposing a sale limit of two items maximum of the same product per customer
  • Liaising between the Store Managers and customers who are shopping for elderly and vulnerable neighbours
  • Closure of the in-store bakeries to allow colleagues to focus on the replenishment of essential items
  • The temporary closure of whole aisles at the discretion of Store Managers to allow a complete replenishment. Customers are asked to respect any closures in place.

To keep everyone in the stores safe the Society has also:

  • Introduced social distancing measures all around the stores including the tills and checkout areas, the aisles, the working distances between colleagues, and queuing areas – inside   the stores and outside
  • Encouraged as many customers as possible to pay at the self-scanning tills, preferably using the contactless method
  • Implemented a limit to the number of customers inside a store at any one time. The limit is at the discretion of the Store Manager and is in line with the size of the store
  • Installed protective Perspex screens at all tills

The Society has also appointed more colleagues to help support existing staff and has provided gloves and masks for every member of the team.

Mr Kurji added: “We are working through one of the most challenging times in our long history…

“We are immensely proud of the efforts of everyone involved in this Society, and how everyone has come together to support the communities we serve.

“We want to thank all of our customers members and colleagues, and our suppliers for their continued support. We know these are some big changes, but we will get through this as long as continue to work together.”

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