Questions and Answers
We have set purchase limits on certain categories of items that are in high demand. These purchase limits will also be applied to orders placed on our app or website. This is to ensure that all customers have access to the items they need most.
In some areas, we’re now opening one hour early, to enable senior citizens and other high-risk groups to shop before we open to the public. We’ll continue to evaluate these special hours and make changes as we learn more. You can find the most up-to-date information about your store here.
Our supply chain associates are working tirelessly to replenish our stores daily with the items our customers need most.
For health and safety reasons, we are not currently accepting returns on items purchased in excess that our customers no longer want.
We’re making more timeslots available to accommodate the increase in demand for our pickup and delivery services. We’ll continue to monitor and make changes as necessary to make pickup and delivery more accessible for our customers.
Pickup & Delivery: Inventory varies by store and changes throughout the day as customers shop in-store and online. Inventory is not updated in real time. If an item shows that it’s available for pickup or delivery, availability is not guaranteed.
Ship: Our shippable inventory is updated in near-real time. We encourage customers to check our app or website to view item availability.
Unfortunately, our Customer Connect associates do not have insight into item availability. Our app or website is the best source for this information.
The past few weeks have been unprecedented for our country, our associates and our customers. Associates in our stores, warehouses, distribution centers, food production facilities and offices are working around the clock to keep our stores clean, open and stocked.
On March 14, we created a policy allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed under quarantine. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to 14 days. We have also made additional financial resources available through our Helping Hands fund.
Yes, this option is available at online checkout on delivery orders. Simply choose the Leave at My Door option and check the box next to "I accept that I do not need to be present when my groceries are delivered.”
Due to current and ongoing product availability issues, we are not able to guarantee in-stock conditions on many items. We will not be issuing rain checks on out-of-stock items until further notice. We appreciate your understanding as we work to keep your store clean, open and stocked to the best of our abilities during this time.
Preparedness, Store Conditions and Products
Our task force has coordinated organizational activities to help our business navigate through this public health event and quickly activate our COVID-19 preparedness plan. We also continue to partner with and follow guidance from federal, state and local agencies, including the CDC and other health organizations.
Our associates are working to ensure our in-store, pickup, delivery and ship services are operational and available to customers.
We appreciate the concern and care our customers are expressing for senior shoppers and higher-risk customers. All customers deserve to have access to affordable, fresh food and essentials. We are testing special hours for senior shoppers in several cities across the country. We have also been inspired to see local communities working together to shop on behalf of seniors and other higher-risk customers.
We are asking our customers be patient, to be kind to one another and our associates, and to shop responsibly and purchase what you need, knowing that we will continue to replenish stores daily with the supplies and products our customers need most. In every decision we make, we are striving to balance the safety of our associates with our commitments to our customers and communities.
Our purpose is to Feed the Human Spirit, and we are always here for our customers and communities when they need us most, especially in times of uncertainty.
We have experienced an increase in demand for our pickup service as customers seek alternative ways to shop for groceries. So, starting March 23, we are temporarily waiving our pickup service fee nationwide (a value of $4.95), with no minimum order threshold. Because of the surge, our customers may experience limited inventory options and longer wait times than usual. We appreciate our customers’ understanding as we work tirelessly to serve the community during this unprecedented time.
We continue to experience an increase in demand for our pickup service as customers seek alternative ways to shop for groceries. To support the increase, Kroger introduced its first pickup-only location in Cincinnati on March 25.
Customers can select the Mt. Carmel Kroger (4630 Aicholtz Road, Cincinnati) as their preferred pickup location when placing their order on kroger.com or through the app. Pickup will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. As the location will no longer offer in-store shopping, associates will be fully focused on fulfilling pickup orders. The store’s pharmacy will remain open and customers can speak directly with health care staff or pick up prescriptions.
We have implemented product purchase limits on highly popular products to help ensure all our customers have access to them. Our manufacturing plants and suppliers are working tirelessly to help replenish our inventories.
We are temporarily suspending product returns to protect the health and wellbeing of our associates, customers and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. If any fresh produce, meat, seafood or deli product does not meet our Fresh for Everyone standard, we will replace it or issue a refund. You can learn more about our return policy here.
We continue to allow our customers to use reusable shopping bags, provided there is not a state or local ordinance that prohibits use.
The health and wellbeing of our associates, customers and communities is our top priority. The CDC has not provided guidance that food is a vehicle for virus transmission. If the CDC provides new guidance, we will follow it.
Most of our products are domestically sourced. Additionally, there’s no evidence at this time of any coronavirus diagnoses related to imported goods.
It’s too early to tell the effect on our business. The event is not currently included in our guidance for 2020. Relative to others in the market we have limited supply chain exposure in China as most of the product we source is domestic.
The Kroger Co. has recently provided new career opportunities to more than 30,600 workers nationwide, including those from the hardest-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels and food service distributors. We plan to hire additional workers over the next several weeks to help us to continue to provide fresh food and useful supplies to communities across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Candidates may apply via jobs.kroger.com and could be placed for employment within several days of applying. Kroger’s average hourly wage is $15 an hour. And with comprehensive benefits factored in, our average hourly rate is over $20.
Health and Wellbeing
On March 21, we announced a one-time bonus for every hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service associate, amounting to $300 for every full-time associate and $150 for every part-time associate.
On March 31, we announced an additional Hero Bonus for all hourly frontline associates – a $2 premium above their standard base rate of pay, applied to hours worked March 29 through April 18. The premium will be disbursed weekly to ensure associates have access to additional cash.
We are taking these steps to protect our customers and associates:
In Our Stores
- Cleaning commonly used areas more often, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.
- Sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, including soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer.
- Adding extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters, and all Pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.
- Wiping down shopping carts, baskets and equipment.
- Partnering with our suppliers to replenish high-demand preparedness products.
- Continuing to provide our customers with free disinfectant wipes at our store entrances to sanitize their shopping carts or baskets.
- Continuing to expand pickup and delivery services and contactless payment solutions like Kroger Pay.
- Maintaining industry-leading best practices for safe food handling.
For Our Customers
- Encouraging our customers and associates to follow the CDC's suggested hygiene practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Recommending that our customers also practice safe food handling at home.
For Our Associates
- We’ve let our associates know they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need. We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers - after health care workers - to have access to protective masks and gloves.
- We are installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers, to further promote physical distancing. In addition, we are adding educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at checklanes and other counters.
- We are encouraging our associates to closely monitor their health and if they exhibit flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue) at work, they should go home and contact their doctor. If an associate has flu-like symptoms at home, they should not come to work.
- Kroger has enacted Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider because of COVID-19 and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
- For those affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made $5 million available through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk.
- We are providing access to mental health services and other benefits to support associates' mental and physical well-being during this stressful time. We’re also offering an associate hotline to ensure benefit questions are answered quickly.
Our associates are on the frontlines, ensuring Americans have access to the food, services and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates.
We’ve let our associates know they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves, and we’re working hard to secure these resources for our associates. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need. We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers - after health care workers - to have access to protective masks and gloves.
We continue to enhance our daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas more often like cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters and shelves.
And, we are now installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers, to further promote physical distancing. Many of our stores are beginning the installation process this week, and we anticipate every checklane having a partition, including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers, within the next several weeks. In addition, we are installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at checklanes and other counters.
Additionally, we’ve adjusted store operating hours across the country to allow more time for our associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.
We believe all these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers.
Because many of our pharmacy or The Little Clinic customers may be visiting us for treatment of an illness, or to fill a prescription for one, our clinics and pharmacies are kept on separate air filtration systems from the rest of the store, which safeguards against germs potentially being spread around the rest of the store, and keeps fresh air circulating throughout. In addition, pharmacies and clinics are always set apart from fresh food areas, such as produce, bakery, and meat and seafood.
All our pharmacists, technicians, clinicians, and patient care technicians follow the strictest rules of infection control. All pharmacies and clinics are cleaned routinely throughout the day with hospital grade sanitation products. During times of extraordinary concern, additional measures are taken.
We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates. We are encouraging our associates to closely monitor their health and if they experience symptoms, including a fever, they should contact their doctor and not come to work. Additionally, we are following local ordinances in cities that mandate employee temperature checks.
We are installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers, to further promote physical distancing. In addition, we are adding educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at checklanes and other counters. We also encourage our customers to practice physical distancing while navigating the shopping aisles.
The Kroger Co. has enacted Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
For those affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made available additional resources through our Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk.
We’ve had confirmed associate cases in a few markets, all managed with local and state health agencies.
At this time, we have extended the suspension of commercial air travel through April 15. We will continue to closely monitor events and adjust our guidance accordingly. In lieu of traveling, we recommend our associates use video or audio conference tools for internal meetings as well as with suppliers and partners.
The Kroger Family of Companies is also uplifting communities in a variety of ways during this unprecedented time, including:
- The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation is rapidly deploying more than $3 million in hunger-relief resources to communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic through its nonprofit partners, Feeding America and No Kid Hungry. The funding will not only support local food banks nationwide, but also fund initiatives that ensure children, whose schools may be closed, still have access to nutritious meals.
- Making it easy for customers to support The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation's mission to create communities free of hunger and waste by choosing to roundup their purchases to the nearest dollar at every self-checkout lane or donate at ZeroHungerZeroWasteFoundation.org.
- Donating food and funds to local food banks and hunger-relief efforts.
- The Kroger Co. Foundation supported the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program and Disaster Responder Program at the $500,000 level for 2020, enabling the Red Cross to develop capacity, leaders and resources to provide relief.
On April 1, The Kroger Co. filed its annual report on Form 10-K and announced business updates in response to the impact from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). More information can be found in our newsroom.