Retailers are going the extra mile to ensure and communicate that their stores are sanitary and safe to enter in the COVID-19 era.
Family Express, for example, recently installed disposable wax tissue dispensers throughout its stores to allow customers to avoid touching hard surfaces. “We have sought to create the most fortified open retail environment in the U.S. with these initiatives,” says Gus Olympidis, president and CEO of the Valparaiso, Ind.-based chain of 75 stores across Indiana.
In April, Family Express began individually wrapping all its doughnuts and rolling out square muffins that fit customized plastic wrappers so customers feel safer grabbing fresh baked goods. This came on the heels of Family Express taking the wraps off its multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art bakery in Valparaiso, where one initial operational task was wrapping each doughnut as it comes off the assembly line.
“We adjusted our model to the reality of the consumer not trusting an open-case product,” Olympidis said. “We’re faced with the necessity to reinvent ourselves. Fortunately, we have the automated capability to wrap our products.” The wrapping also extends the shelf life of the doughnuts.
Click through to read about other innovations launched since March, arriving to the c-store channel to demonstrate to customers that stores are serious about keeping safety and sanitation a priority.