Bruce’s Foodland in Fort Payne responds to the challenges they have faced in the last couple of weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Eric Bruce, of Bruce’s Foodland, said his family has been in the grocery business for 41 years, and they have never experienced anything close to what is happening.
“These last two weeks have been very trying and exhausting times. I can’t begin to tell you how hard our employees have worked through all this and have not complained a bit,” he said.
Bruce said his employees have been “all in” from day one until now, doing everything possible and working around the clock to meet their customers' needs.
“I have been telling them every day how much we appreciate them, but you wouldn’t believe how many customers have thanked us all and that’s been very uplifting,” he said.
While shopping right now, there will be various out of stock items due to the high demand.
“On this short of a notice, manufacturers and wholesalers were not prepared for it, but I can tell you this, our wholesaler Mitchell Grocery is working around the clock to increase product levels,” said Bruce.
He said a lot of manufacturers are cutting down on the different numbers of items they produce so they can produce more quantities of “key items.”
“There will be plenty of groceries to be purchased but we may just be out of certain items until this is over,” Bruce said.
He said although they have always taken pride in trying to keep their stores as clean as possible, during this time, they have increased their cleaning and sanitizing practices more in efforts to try and protect their employees and customers.
Bruce said they have had to make several decisions based on how to serve their customer best and on product availability.
The following are some of those updates:
• They have limits on certain items that they are limited by their wholesaler.
• Due to other retailers shutting down their online curbside pickup, they have had to make some temporary adjustments to be able to keep it going. Those changes include a 50 item limit and a limited number of time slots.
• Weekly ad program will be suspended until manufacturers let them know they can provide products to support them.
• There are two Bruce's Foodland apps that can be downloaded: Bruce’s Foodland online ordering app and the Bruce’s Rewards App that offers digital coupons, in-store deals, and reward points. Cashiers can scan the barcode on the app with each purchase to build reward points.
“If you haven’t downloaded our Bruce’s Rewards App, I would suggest you do that now,” said Bruce. Customers can watch for any deals that become available through the app, and they will be pushing out extra coupons over the next few weeks.”
• Tuesdays are senior discount days. Bruce said they have decided to open their doors on Tuesdays from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. for seniors 60 and over only to allow them to shop with less of a crowd.
“We want to ask everyone to be respectful of our senior citizens and don’t try to enter during this hour if you aren’t a senior citizen,” he said.
Bruce said he thanks every community they are “blessed” to serve.
“We’ve had people call or come in and offer to help. We had people send food to our employees. It’s amazing how everybody comes together to help one another,” he said.
He reminds the public to remember all the restaurants and other retail stores during these difficult times.
“Support them any way you can, whether it’s online, to-go, curbside or delivery. Thank you for shopping Bruce's Foodland,” said Bruce.