Giant Eagle Working 24/7 to Get Products on Shelves

By Dan Hiner
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Dan Donovan is making the rounds to Giant Eagle grocery stores in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania trying to put the customers’ minds at ease.

On Wednesday, the spokesman stopped by the Strongsville location to discuss how the grocery store chain is navigating the COVID-19 outbreak,  everything from store sanitation to policy changes.

Stores across the region have seen shortages of bread, meats and paper products. He said the company is consistently ordering new shipments every day.

“For a lot of retailers, it’s the issue of how do we get the product from our warehouses, where it is, into our stores?,” Donovan said. “We have team members in-store, we have drivers and we have team members in warehouses who are literally working 24 hours a day. And the deliveries we’re making today are much more efficient than the ones we were making yesterday.”

However, logistics can only go so far. Giant Eagle has placed purchasing limits on various products. Customers can only purchase one package of paper products, such as toilet paper, per trip. Donovan recommended that customers should visit a GetGo gas station if they cannot find certain products in store.

“Plan for your weekly shop as you normally would,” Donovan said. “As you think of friends and family, don’t plan for that monthly shop.”

Giant Eagle spokesman Dan Donovan and Jenni Smith, Giant Eagle’s area director for Cleveland’s west side. 

Across the chain, services like the Eagles Nest children’s activity center have been shut down. Pharmacies and curbside service, however, are operating as usual. Donovan asked customers to be patient if certain products are not available for curbside shopping, adding that customers concerned with entering the pharmacy should use the drive-thru.

The grocery chain is looking to add employees to handle the increased workload.

Donovan said workers who have been laid off – the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported nearly 47,000 unemployment claims were filed Sunday and Monday, including 36,645 on Monday alone –  can visit to apply for a position. He estimates that an applicant, if hired, could be working in a couple days. 

“When we get these important updates from our authorities, you often hear of three critical businesses that remain open: supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations/convenience stores,” Donovan said. “For Giant Eagle, we have a huge presence, not just in northeast Ohio, but throughout the region.”

Giant Eagle stores across the region have changed their hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Curbside service will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shift in hours allows the stores to restock and sanitize high-contact areas.

While open, cashiers have hand sanitizer and disinfectants to clean the checkout lanes, according to Jenni Smith, Giant Eagles’ area director for Cleveland’s West Side. They also can leave at any time to wash their hands at a designated station. The stores also instituted hourly reminders for employees to clean their stations and sanitize.

The shopping boom has also impacted products that customers don’t see.

The chain of stores’ disinfecting wipes at the front doors to wipe down shopping carts has also been “strained.” In response, the stores are using a quick-dry disinfecting spray as an alternative.

“We’re also working around the clock to ensure that our sanitation efforts have been heightened to make sure our team members and our guests feel safe coming into work and coming to shop at Giant Eagle each and every day,” Smith said.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.