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Kroger to limit numbers of customers in stores

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Kroger is using in-store signage such as floor decals to promote social-distancing protocols. (Photo courtesy The Kroger Co.)

From The Kroger Co.:

The Kroger Family of Companies announced the adoption of customer capacity limits to further encourage physical distancing in stores. Beginning Tuesday, April 7, the retailer will begin to limit the number of customers to 50% of the international building code’s calculated capacity to allow for proper physical distancing in every store.

“Kroger’s introduction of customer capacity limits is one more way we are doing our part to flatten the curve while operating as an essential business, providing our customers with access to fresh, affordable food and products,” said Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger’s senior vice president of operations in a statement. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”

(Photo courtesy The Kroger Co.)

As an illustration, the standard building capacity for a grocery store is 1 person per 60 square feet. Under Kroger’s new reduced capacity limits, the number will be 1 person per 120 square feet. Kroger will begin to monitor the number of customers per square foot in its stores using its industry-leading QueVision technology, which already provides a count of the customers entering and exiting stores.

“By leveraging QueVision, our technology system that uses infrared sensors and predictive analytics, we will be able to more efficiently support our new capacity limits, creating a safer environment for our customers and associates,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief technology and digital officer.

Kroger’s new customer capacity limits joins other measures the retailer has established over the last few weeks to promote physical distancing, including the addition of plexiglass partitions and educational floor decals and airing of a healthy habits message via in-store radio to encourage customers to practice good hygiene and spatial awareness.

Kroger and its affiliates have also recently implemented the following protective and preventive measures:

Protective Face Masks and Gloves for Associates
The Kroger Family of Companies is encouraging associates to wear protective masks and gloves. The retailer has ordered masks for associates nationwide, with supply starting to arrive in select regions and the anticipation of all locations having supply by the end of this week.

Associate Wellness Checks
The Kroger Family of Companies is asking associates to closely monitor their health and take their temperature at home prior to coming to work. If they experience symptoms, including a fever, they are encouraged to contact their health care provider and stay home. Under its expanded COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines, associates self-isolating or experiencing symptoms as verified by an health care professional are eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).

The retailer started testing temperature checks in its distribution centers several weeks ago and is beginning to expand associate temperature checks to stores. Kroger and its affiliates are following local ordinances in cities or counties that mandate employee temperature checks, and associates may also request to have their temperature taken at work.

Piloting One-Way Aisles in Select Markets
The Kroger Family of Companies has started to test one-way aisles in select markets to determine its effectiveness as a measure to further support physical distancing.

Waived Prescription Delivery Fees
The Kroger Family of Pharmacies is temporarily waiving fees for prescription delivery via mail or courier. To learn more about the options and availability, customers should contact their local pharmacy location.

Continuing Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Commitment
As part of Kroger’s commitment to end hunger and eliminate waste in its communities by 2025, the retailer continues to allow its customers to use reusable shopping bags, provided there is not a state or local ordinance that prohibits use. The retailer encourages its customers to frequently clean and wipe down their reusable shopping bags to help maintain a safe shopping environment.

Reduced Holiday Hours
The Kroger Family of Companies is closing early on Easter Sunday, April 12, to provide its associates with more time to rest and be with their families. Holiday operating hours will vary by location and market.

 

Business

Vicksburg entrepreneurs got the basics of business ownership at boot camp

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Kendra Reed and Willie Johnson were among the dozen entrepreneurs attending the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp. (photos submitted)

Last week participants graduated from the first Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp where 12 individuals received information to start or expand their own businesses.

Myra Harris, who recently started a company making masks, joined the boot camp shortly after her grandchildren informed her of the opportunity.

“They provided all the resources you would need to start your business, and they also made themselves available after class just in case you had any questions,” Harris said.

Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp participants. Top L to R: Marcus Dufour (Vicksburg Warren Partnership), Tim Sanford, Cathy Sanford, Olivia Foshee, Amy Warren, Patricia Anderson, Willie Johnson, Myra Harris, Ginger Donahue (Regions Bank) and Pablo Diaz (Vicksburg Warren Partnership). Bottom L to R: Gwen Green, Kendra Reed, Rob Burnham (Instructor), De’Jonae Curtis and Anthony Curtis. Not pictured William Wooten. (photo courtesy Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce)

Retired businessman Rob Burnham facilitated the class and helped the participants plan out their businesses, assisting with marketing, accounting and distribution. Marcus Dufour and Pablo Diaz from the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce hosted the class, bringing in successful entrepreneurs as speakers including Kevin Roberts who owns Fit Chef Catering in Vicksburg.

“Every speaker gave us the opportunity to ask questions, and it definitely gave me the information I need to open a business, and I would recommend the class 100%,” said participant Willie Johnson.

Johnson was born and raised in Vicksburg. He’s now retired from the military and looking to launch a consulting business, which is what led him to attending the boot camp.

By having capable individuals at the boot camp such as James Harper from the Small Business Development Center at Hinds Community College, the participants were able to learn about available grants and other resources for entrepreneurs.

Starting a business can be stressful for first time entrepreneurs, but the boot camp provided planning advice to the participants, breaking down the information that participants need to launch their businesses.

“In the business process of starting and running a business, owners get very busy running the day-to-day aspects,” said boot camp participant Kendra Reed. “Entrepreneurship Bootcamp gave me the chance to step back and plan through the whole process to prepare my new company to be successful.”

Reed is the owner of Delta Dirt Shirt, and she was proud to be a graduating member of the camp.

Now that the camp has ended, the participants are in competition for a $1,000 seed grant for the best business plan presentation. A winner will be announced Dec. 8.

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Fun Lanes bowling alley has reopened

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(photo by David Day)

Fun Lanes bowling alley in the Uptown Vicksburg mall has reopened.

The bowling alley closed earlier this year after former General Manager Patrick Belden unexpectedly died as a result of a car crash. While the bowling alley has the same owners, they have made some improvements. A statement on the Uptown Vicksburg Facebook page explained:

“Fun Lanes Bowling has made renovations and is now under new management. Fun Lanes wants to let everyone know that they have a renewed goal of being a family-friendly, safe location for the people of Vicksburg and the surrounding area to come out and enjoy the sport of bowling. Fun Lanes at Uptown Vicksburg, come on out and check us out. You will be glad you did.”

(photo by David Day)

The bowling alley had become a hotspot for police activity due to the large crowds that gathered there for late-night, weekend DJ parties. While the parties were a major success and there were almost no problems reported inside the bowling alley, the large crowds outside sometimes became disruptive.

Tony Lemus, Fun Lanes acting general manager (photo by David Day)

“We are committed to a family friendly atmosphere and look forward to providing Vicksburg with a great, fun and family friendly atmosphere” said acting General Manager Tony Lemus.

The hours of operation have changed. Fun Lanes is now open Mondays through Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon until 9 p.m.

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Wingstop coming to Vicksburg

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A job listing on an internet job site indicates a Wingstop will be coming to Vicksburg soon.

Indeed.com has listing for all positions, including a general manager, for a local store.

Wingstop is a chicken wing restaurant with a wide selection of side items including VooDoo fries. It was started in Garland, Texas, in 1994 and has expanded to over 1,500 restaurants according to the website. The chain has locations worldwide including in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The closest Wingstop to Vicksburg is in Clinton. The Starkville location is owned by a franchise called Boss Wings. The staff at that location could not confirm the Vicksburg location and calls to corporate management were not returned.

Jeff Richardson, city planning director, confirmed Wingstop had applied for a building permit earlier this week.

“I believe it was Tuesday,” he said. “It seems like they are going into an existing structure.”

Richardson did not disclose the location but indicated the new Wingstop would be in a strip mall area. There is no indication of the opening date but the job listings would indicate in the next three to five months.

 

 

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