Waiting in line to enter a supermarket has become the new normal in light of the coronavirus, but the waits could get a little longer at Kroger stores such as Ralphs and Food 4 Less, where more stringent capacity guidelines took effect Tuesday.
The Kroger Co. implemented a rule that limits its stores to 50% of the designated building capacity “to allow for proper physical distancing in every store.”
According to the company, the standard building capacity for a grocery store is one person per 60 square feet. Under the new guidelines, stores will limit capacity to one person per 120 square feet.
That guideline will be even more strict at Los Angeles-area stores, which are reducing customers to 25% of the designated store capacity.
“We are reducing the traffic in our stores to protect the safety of our associates, customers and community,” Ralphs spokesman John Votava said.
Most grocery stores and other retailers that remain open during the pandemic have implemented capacity limits, forcing customers to wait in line — six feet apart — before entering to control the crowds inside.
Kroger officials said in a statement that the company is also exploring the use of one-way aisles in an effort to reduce crowding. Although the concept is under consideration by Kroger, it has not yet been introduced at Ralphs stores.
In Pasadena, there is a Food 4 Less at 1329 N. Lake Ave. and three Ralphs stores, at 3601 E Foothill Blvd., 160 N. Lake Ave., and 320 W. Colorado Blvd.