There were quite a few changes made to the grocery shopping experience at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Safety measures like special senior hours, mask requirements, contactless payment, plexiglass dividers, and more were put into place to reduce the spread of the virus months ago. Most are still set up, but one major grocery chain is making a change. And it could affect your next shopping trip.
Unless it is required by local rules, Publix is taking away one-way aisles. This means arrows on the floor, decals, and signs won’t be there to tell customers which way to walk through, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The reason for the rule relaxation comes down to customer habits.
“We implemented one-way aisles at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic to help our customers understand and practice social distancing, and over time it has become widely understood and adopted into our routines,” says Maria Brous, Publix’s spokeswoman.
She did specify that other types of social distancing floor decals are still in place. In addition, she says customers will now be responsible for wiping carts themselves with cleaning wipes. This takes the place of an employee doing so.
However, the one-way aisle rule isn’t one that is regularly followed. As the newspaper points out, “it’s not uncommon to see shoppers ignore, or forget, about the arrows pointing them in a certain direction.”
Without the arrows, expect to see a lot more people passing each other through the Publix aisles. Customers and employees will all have masks on, of course. Publix’s mask mandate is still going strong. So don’t forget yours!
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