King Soopers, Safeway, others grocers limiting the number of customers inside stores

Grocery shopping is the one public activity many Coloradans still take part in on a regular basis these days with the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the shutdown of schools, offices, restaurants and other gathering places.

Because of that, grocery stores have emerged as places where people are most likely to be exposed to other’s germs.

It’s a reality that prompted Gov. Jared Polis on March 24 to send a letter to the operators of King Soopers and Safeway, the state’s dominant grocery chains, urging stronger social-distancing and safety protocols in their stores. The same day, those companies announced they would use floor decals in busy areas to highlight the proper, 6-foot distance shoppers should stand apart from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They also announced they would be installing Plexiglass sneeze guards at check stands and other places where employees interact with customers to protect people.

Over the last week, King Soopers, Safeway and other major grocers have announced additional safety protocols, including limited the number of shoppers in stores and making some aisles one-way to make social distancing in stores easier. Below is the breakdown of the latest measures being taken by some of these companies.

King Soopers

Latest announcement: Monday

  • The number of customers allowed in each store will be capped at 50% of the building’s capacity.
  • Delivery fees for prescription medications have been temporarily waived. Customers should contact their local pharmacy for details.
  • In select stores, King Soopers is testing one-way aisles to determine how effective it is for encouraging social distancing.
  • Employees are encouraged to wear gloves and masks. The company is not providing them for all workers yet but hopes to have a supply for all stores by the end of the week.

Safeway and Albertsons

Latest announcement: Tuesday

  • The number of customers allowed in stores will be capped at 30% of capacity.
  • One-way aisles are being implemented across all stores, with floor markers dictating direction.
  • The company has found a supply of masks for all employees.
  • Dedicated shopping hours for seniors and people with compromised immune systems have been expanded to 7-9 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays.


Latest announcement: Friday

  • Stores are being limited to 20% capacity, roughly five shoppers for every 1,000 square feet of space.
  • Stores with multiple entrances will have multiple lines for entry to allow for as much social distancing as possible.
  • Customers will be directed to exit through a different door than the one being used to limit capacity.
  • One-way aisles are being instituted in some stores.


Latest announcement: Thursday

  • The company is limiting the number of shoppers in stores when necessary but did not provide a specific capacity figure.
  • Over the next two weeks, the company will begin providing all workers with masks and gloves to be worn during shifts, including workers picking up items as part of the company’s Shipt delivery service.

Natural Grocers

Latest announcement: Monday

  • The number of customers allowed in stores will be limited based on square footage.
  • A staff member at the entrance of each store will clean carts for customers and ensure social distance rules are being followed.
  • Stores will now close at 8:05 p.m. nightly to allow for restocking.
  • 9-10 a.m. Sundays and 8-9 a.m. Wednesdays are reserved shopping hours for people over 60, pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions.

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