CINCINNATI – Earlier this week, The Kroger Co. published its first installment of “Sharing What We’ve Learned: A Blueprint for Businesses.” The report provides recommendations for retailers, restaurants and foodservice companies, manufacturers, logistics and distribution centers and other industries as they craft plans on how to move forward while the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) persists. 

The blueprint includes learnings from what the company has experienced in the last six weeks to safeguard associates, customers and communities and through interactions with business leaders in other countries including Singapore and China, who are ahead of the United States in the COVID-19 cycle. 

"With nearly 2,800 grocery stores, 35 manufacturing plants, 44 distribution centers and 460,000 associates across the country, Kroger has learned and continues to learn a lot while keeping our stores and supply chain open and serving America during the pandemic," said Rodney McMullen, chairman and chief executive officer of Kroger. "As an essential business, we have led with our purpose: to feed the human spirit and have taken extensive measures across our footprint to safeguard our associates, customers and supply chain. We are sharing what we've learned to help businesses begin to reopen safely and in sync with their respective state plans." 

Kroger’s 17-page guide includes recommendations for flattening the curve in retail stores, employee safety, vendor and visitor safety and embracing digital options. The blueprint was developed after the grocer was asked by US governors and business organizations to help their states’ businesses to reopen safely. 

The guide also includes instore signage and audio files, and Kroger will continue to update the blueprint in coming days and weeks to provide additional recommendations, insights, best practices, tools and templates. 

"We share our learnings with the same spirit that many business leaders from around the world have generously shared their experiences with our company, which helped us anticipate the steps we needed to take to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers," McMullen said. "We know that we don't, and we won't, have all the answers – no one business or organization will. It will take all of us sharing openly the ingenuity that has always been the heart of American free enterprise to get through this, together, allowing America to come out stronger."