Statement Addressing the Coronavirus

March 25, 2020

The past two weeks have been especially busy in our stores and we have been doing our best to keep you, our much valued customers, updated on the measures that we have been implementing to keep our stores safe for you and our more than 2,500 team members that are the heart of our business and your friends and neighbours in your community.

We remain committed to following the advice and guidance of the Health Authorities, the World Health Organization, Centres for Disease Control and other qualified bodies, as well as developing our own best practices to ensure that we can continue to be there for you as together we find our way through this pandemic.

We thought that it would be helpful to you, and answer questions that we are receiving, to summarize actions we have been taking, and continue to take, so that you can rely on us to meet you and your families needs during this critical time.

Among many activities and protocols, we have:

  • Increased the frequency of disinfecting and sanitizing our tills, food contact areas carts and baskets and frequently touched surfaces to step up our already high standards of food safety.
  • Implemented cashier glove use with protocols for sanitizing between customers and regular handwashing routines for all employees.
  • Implemented physical-distancing protocols including floor markers and signs to remind people to leave 2 meters (6-feet) of space.
  • We have restricted access to our buildings to 50% of fire code, to allow enough space for 2m of physical distancing between each person in the building. We are grateful that the health authorities recognized that because of the large size of our operations relative to other community gathering places, the 50-person limit did not apply to us.
  • We are strictly enforcing crowd size, to keep our shopping environments safe from the potential effects of overcrowding.
  • Instituted limits on high-demand products.
  • Removed the charge on single-use plastic bags during this period of discouraging the use of re-usable bags.
  • And, we are in the process of securing and installing protective plexiglass barriers at all service checkouts.

To serve the needs of our communities, while protecting the health of everyone we have:

  • Dedicated our first hour of operations to seniors and vulnerable shoppers, along with the health care workers and first-responders that are the front-line in protecting all of us.
  • Adjusted our store hours to allow time for stocking, cleaning and providing our people with much needed rest.
  • Closed self-serve hot bars, salad bars and non-packaged bulk foods and coffee to eliminate potential spread of virus through high touch by the public.
  • Moved all service bakery and deli items from service cases to be pre-packaged.
  • Temporarily suspended services such as bottle returns and lotto ticket sales until we can develop methods for eliminating potential touch exposure to our team members and our customers.
  • Worked with Debit and Credit card issuers to increase the tap payment limits for credit and debit cards and mobile device payments to remove one more touch point for you, and.
  • We are working hard to bring on additional staff to provide options for home delivery for those that are not able to get to our stores due to self-isolation or mobility concerns.

To take care of our teams:

  • We have introduced a $2.00/hour premium for all our team members retroactive to March 8th to recognize and show our appreciation for them and their hard work and support of our customers at this time.
  • We are working to add additional team members to provide team members additional options for rest and re-energizing when needed.

For as long as we are able, we will:

  • Continue to offer you specials on products on a weekly and monthly basis
  • Do our best to have full shelves, and the products you need
  • Continue to support our customers and the communities we serve as best we can

We will not:

  • Unfairly raise our prices to take advantage of our customers during these events.

Over the past week, we have received many, many emails, social media posts and other communications from you, our customers, to express your gratitude and appreciation for the efforts of our team members and the positive, friendly way they are welcoming you to our stores. Wherever possible, we are passing along those expressions of appreciation to our team members and it means a lot to them.

It has been quite moving to see how all our communities and we as Canadians pull together, look out for one another and appreciate each other during these unprecedented times.

What we ask of you:

  • Respect the physical distancing measures we have put in place for the protection of you and our team members and to comply with guidance from Health Authorities.
  • Do not bring your family with you grocery shopping, have one person from the household do the shopping and as hard as it is, don’t socialize in the store with your friends and neighbours to help us with physical distancing and the number of people that can get through the store under maximum occupancy rules.
  • Buy only what you need until your next shopping trip so that there will be enough of the high demand items for others in the community.
  • Do not come to the store if you are sick. Have a friend, neighbour or community group do the shopping for you, or call us to see if we can help.
  • Wash your hands.

We are proud to be members of your community and we are grateful for your support.

Dan Bregg,

March 23, 2020

With the rapid change of life in Canada as we all adapt to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19, and maintain the essential service of meeting the public's food needs, we at Buy-Low Foods have never been more proud of our amazing team members.

From the outset, they have committed themselves to helping our stores serve our customers in the safest most helpful manner possible. They are our front-line, and they deserve recognition for the work they are doing.

To recognize the over and above efforts of our team members, Buy-Low Foods is proud to announce that we are instituing a $2.00/hour pay premium retroactive to March 8th 2020. This premium will be reviewed as business conditions change, and is in recognition of their hard work and commitment to our customers and the communities that we serve.

At Buy-Low Foods we are committed to providing food and support for each of the communities we are part of. Something our Team Members do execptionally well everyday, and even more so in these difficult times.

Dan Bregg,

March 18, 2020

Life and business in Canada is changing rapidly everyday and at Buy-Low Foods, we are adapting too. For example, effective Wednesday, March 18th, for the first hour of the day, all Buy-Low Foods locations will be offering preferred shopping to our customers who wish assistance or extra consideration, including seniors and those living with disabilities. We welcome all customers but hope that preference will be given to those with special needs for the first hour we are open. Please check our website or at your local store for specific store hours.

As I am sure you have seen over the past many days, there has been an unusual increase in the numbers of people in grocery stores, with high demand for many products, the appearance of empty shelves and long lines. This may have caused you some concern.

I want to assure you that:

  • We will not run out of food or essential supplies. We are restocking daily and our supply chain is working extra hard to restock items that you want and need.
  • We are going to make sure that we stay up and running to meet your needs and we are confident that we have process in place and government support to do that.
  • We have not and we will not raise prices for the purpose of taking advantage of the current situation.
  • We have and we will continue to limit quantities when appropriate to ensure that the needs of all of the communities we serve are met as best as possible.

I am moved at seeing how neighbours and communities are coming together to help out and support those that need the assistance and we are proud to do our part to support the community as well, just as we have done for over 50 years.

Dan Bregg,

March 13, 2020

As the coronavirus COVID-19 affects communities across Canada, we want to update you on what we are doing at Buy-Low Foods in response to the ongoing uncertainty. As a community grocery store, our number one priority is to keep our customers and our team members safe.

We are monitoring and following all federal, provincial and regional advisories and adopting new procedures as needed to keep our stores safe environments and are currently taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Increasing Routine Cleaning: Stores have increased the frequency of cleaning, paying close attention to high touch areas such as restrooms, register areas, grocery carts and hand baskets.
  • Team Member Support: Our employees have been asked to exercise precautions to safeguard their health and the health of their community, including staying home if they have any symptoms of illness or do not feel well.
  • Reinforcing Good Hygiene Practices: With guidance from health authorities we are emphasizing hygiene practices which we know are a front-line defense from any illness.

At Buy-Low Foods we are committed to doing our best to ensure our stores offer a safe shopping and working environment and help keep our communities safe. We will continue to monitor all public health departments advisories and, when appropriate, update you on how we are adapting our store practices with your safety in mind.

Thank you for your continued support.

Dan Bregg
Buy-Low Foods