Meijer is temporarily suspending its weekly circular beginning Easter Sunday, April 12, to reduce foot traffic in stores and slow the spread of COVID-19.
The news came a day before the mass merchant dropped its April 5 circular, which at four pages was much shorter than the usual 10-20 page Sunday tab.
Meijer is also making other operational changes related to the pandemic:
- asking shoppers to limit the number of people who come to the store on each trip,
- implementing processes to monitor the number of shoppers in stores,
- conducting daily health screenings and temperature checks of employees as they arrive at the store,
- completing the installation of protective plexiglass shields at all checkout lanes and pharmacies at the retailer's 248 supercenters and stores, and
- adding signage and broadcast announcements inside the store to educate shoppers about proper social distancing.
"We continue to look for additional ways to ensure the safety of our customers and team members in the face of this difficult challenge," said Rick Keyes, Meijer president and chief executive officer, in a media release announcing the efforts. "By working together, we can reduce the spread of this virus and help keep our communities safe."
Meijer joins a varied list of retailers that are adjusting their circular (and, often, promotional) activity during the pandemic:
- Target stopped producing a print ad on March 29, communicating the change is temporary in an April 5 email blast and on the covers of its March 29 and April 5 digital circulars.
- ShopRite has simplified its sales program and circular so that the retailer can "focus on what matters most," the grocer said in a two-page circular deployed March 29. The retailer's April 5 circular was also only two pages long.
- Home Depot is not displaying any circulars on its website, cancelling major spring promotions such as Spring Black Friday to avoid driving high levels of traffic to stores.
- Lowe's is carrying on with its annual Spring Black Friday event, but is only promoting it in-store. Circulars only are available at its physical locations – digital versions are not being posted online.
- Albertsons Cos. chains such as Safeway used their recent circular to communicate the retailer is doing its "best to provide you the products you need and want" while thanking shoppers for their patience and loyalty as they work to maintain stock.
- Southeastern Grocers' Winn-Dixie used the cover of its April 8 circular to warn shoppers of supply shortages and quantity limits.
- H-E-B used its March 25 circular to communicate to shoppers it is canceling select planned promotions and putting product limits in place. The retailer's most recent circular deployed on April 4 is much shorter than usual at only a page and promotes scant "Easter Favorites."
Meanwhile, Publix continues to deploy its circular but is not delivering its regular promotional email blasts. Instead, it is using the communication form to deliver "critical information about store operations and hours," according to multiple missives from the grocer.
For an image gallery of circular activity over the years, p2pi.org.