IRVING, Texas — To slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), 7-Eleven Inc. is taking action to ensure social distancing in its franchised and corporate stores.
The convenience retailer will begin installing plexiglass sneeze guards for the front sales counter in its 9,000-plus U.S. locations. Installations will begin at stores in areas hit the hardest by the pandemic and expand to include all other locations over the next two weeks.
Each store will receive two of the transparent plastic barriers. For easiest customer access, credit card PIN units will be located on the customer-facing side of the plexiglass sneeze guards.
All sneeze guards were made in North America, the retail chain noted.
"We are doing everything we can to keep stores open and stocked with the products local communities need, while also keeping customers safe. These new sneeze guards provide additional protection for customers, store associates and franchisees," said 7‑Eleven President and CEO Joseph DePinto. "We are monitoring the changing situation and CDC recommendations and will continue to prioritize the health of our customers, store associates and franchisees across America."
In addition to the new checkout barriers, 7-Eleven has taken preventative steps against COVID19 by:
- Enhancing its standards and procedures for hygiene, handwashing, sanitation, food handling and preparations in stores, and increased the frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces.
- Securing necessary cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers, masks and gloves for franchisees, their employees, and corporate associates.
- Installing high-quality floor decals that instruct customers to practice social distancing in stores.
- Waiving the delivery fee for all 7NOW orders made now through April 30. Customers also have the option of contactless delivery, whereby the driver will leave the order at the door.
7-Eleven also has a leadership team at the company's Store Support Center that is dedicated to staying up to date with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization guidelines to make the best adjustments to business operations and policies as needed, the company stated.
To further support franchisees, 7-Eleven is adjusting specific fees and credits that will result in $38 million in cash flow assistance to these operators in the coming months.
Irving-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 70,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.