Kowalski's Markets COVID-19 Updates

We're All in This Together

A message from the Kowalski family and the Kowalski’s team:

First and foremost, we want to say a heartfelt thank you to our employees for the resolve, dedication, bravery and compassion they’ve shown every single day while putting themselves on the front line of the fight against COVID-19. Not one of us could ever have predicted a virus would put us all in such a predicament as we are facing now. Our consumers, employees and vendor partners have rapidly responded to address COVID-19 to keep us all as safe as possible while supplying us all with the products we need right now.

At this unusual time in our history, it’s necessary for all of us to change a few of our shopping habits, particularly to help protect our vital grocery store workers. The good news is there’s actually a lot you can do to help! We’ve compiled a list of personal, civic actions you can take that will go a long way towards helping keep you and our essential employees safe and healthy. We are so thankful for all of our loyal, valuable customers and want you to know we are all in this together!

What Additional Steps Have We Taken?

  • Continue to follow all CDC social distancing guidelines.
  • We continually govern with employees about important health, hygiene, cleaning and sanitation practices.
  • Per recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are suggesting wearing a mask while in the store. Washable, reusable facemasks are easy to make at home with just a piece of cloth and 2 hair elastics or rubber bands. Click here to view the Surgeon General’s 45-second-long DIY face mask tutorial.
  • We are using every other checkout lane to ensure social distancing can be accomplished for all stakeholders.
  • We are supplying our front end employees with easier access to handwashing stations, plus other protective equipment (i.e. gloves).
  • We are continuing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces that are touched regularly (by both employees and customers), including but not limited to doors, counters, door handles, stairway and bathroom handrails, phones, time clocks, ATMs, radios and headsets and other hard surfaces.
  • We are continuing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing cash registers, keyboards, credit card machines and check writing stations at the front ends and sanitizing the hard surfaces of the checkouts that make contact with customers’ food.
  • Our front end employees are sanitizing customer carts, handi-carts and baskets after each use.
  • We have installed temporary plexiglass separators at the checkouts to specially protect our cashiers, carryouts and customers.
  • We are extending wage and overtime increases to all hourly employees until May 2.
  • We are ensuring employees are getting adequate days of rest and are scheduled for manageable shifts.
  • Because we are unable to know what products have come into contact with after leaving our stores, we have temporarily amended our return policy. As always, if there are quality concerns with any purchase, we will always offer a replacement or refund.
  • We have temporarily suspended the use of reusable bags. We encourage customers to recycle paper bags at home and return plastic bags to the bins in the entryways so they can be recycled into decking. In our Minneapolis stores, where we are required by law to charge customers 5¢ per bag for the use of new bags, we have suspended this fee until further notice.
  • Currently, we are not limiting the number of customers that may be in the store at a time. However, if at any point store management feels a store is too crowded, they may ask customers to wait outside until the level of shoppers returns to a more reasonable level.

What Can You Do?

  • Help us keep our employees safe. Maintain social distance with employees at all times.
  • Shop only as frequently as necessary. Consolidate shopping trips for your entire household.
  • Shop as quickly as possible to reduce the time spent in the store.
  • Please limit your party to just one member per family or household whenever possible.
  • Per recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are suggesting wearing a mask while in the store. Washable, reusable facemasks are easy to make at home with just a piece of cloth and 2 hair elastics or rubber bands. Click here to view the Surgeon General’s 45-second-long DIY face mask tutorial.
  • As much as possible, touch only the products you plan to purchase. If you need assistance with selecting an item, such as an item of produce, we are happy to help.
  • If you’d like to use them in the store, please bring your own sanitizing wipes, which are in short supply due to FEMA needs. We will supply them if possible.
  • As much as possible, please shop during off-peak hours. 5-8 p.m. are typically the least busy.
  • Avoid shopping between 6-8 a.m. each day so those most vulnerable to the illness, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised, can shop safely. This enables them to shop immediately after the store has been completely sanitized and stocked and when it is typically least busy.
  • For some products, we encourage you to only buy what you need. Our supply chains are strong, and we are working diligently to ensure that the products you are looking for are there for you when you come in.
  • Shop online. Click here for delivery and curbside pickup options from our partners at Shipt and Kowalski’s On the Go.

As always, we continue to give support to our community food bank network at Second Harvest Heartland, and we have increased our ongoing support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities to help provide family meals during this difficult time.

Every day we continue to monitor this situation and how it might impact our employees and customers. We will develop additional steps as the need arises so that we can continue to effectively protect all stakeholders, and we will continue to work closely with and follow recommendations issued by Governor Walz’s office, the CDC, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the USDA.