COVID-19 closes North Okanagan convenience store

COVID-19 closes North Okanagan convenience store

Co-Op stations still pumping fuel, but doors closed in store

Jeff Payne doesn’t want to see Canada end up like Italy.

Therefore the Armstrong Regional Co-Op general manager has made a tough, yet community conscious decision to close the convenience stores. The Vernon, Armstrong and Salmon store fronts will be closed, but the gas stations remain open and there will be staff on site at all times.

“Thinking about who we are and the fact we are a community based organization we just didn’t want to be giving our community any pandemic diseases,” said Payne, of the closure that came into effect Tuesday, March 24. “It was a matter of, ‘hey, we better get ahead of this thing.’”

It was not an easy decision, considering 60-70 per cent of Co-Op’s profit margin comes from inside the store.

“But I have to protect my customers, I have to protect my staff,” said Payne, noting that the store is also where all the face-to-face interaction takes place.

Meanwhile, the Co-Op has boosted sanitizing by cleaning pumps in an effort to help stop the spread.

“We’re doing it about 20-30 times a day. You can’t get it all, but we’re doing what we can.”

It’s a drastic change considering pumps were cleaned once a day prior to the pandemic, and about 10 years ago Payne said they might get cleaned once a month, with soap and water and not the disinfectant that is being used today.

Although customers can’t get goodies in the store, they are being treated to fuel prices below $1.

Gas prices in Vernon dropped below a loonie this week and continued to slide down to 92.9.

The reason, according to Payne: “Demand dropped, supply increased, it’s a standard model.”

And although he wishes he could predict gas prices (then he’d be retired), Payne guesses they may continue to drop even further.

“My gut feeling is there is some room for downward movement but I don’t know for sure.”

It’s the first time in at least the last 10 years that he remembers gas being below a dollar. Although he does remember a time when it was even cheaper.

“When I started here in 2002 it was 67 cents at the pumps.”

READ MORE: Vernon pumps dip below $1

READ MORE: Armstrong IPE still on, for now


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusGas prices

Just Posted

Teenagers make their way to Truswell Road after a party is broken up by police at the end of Mission Creek (Lorraine Besner/Contributed).
Truswell Road residents concerned about ongoing alleged underage beach parties

Public urination, property damage, drinking and drug usage have become weekly concerns

Voix du Coeur is bringing music to seniors in retirement homes as restrictions slowly start to ease. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Trio sings opera to Okanagan seniors as pandemic restrictions ease

Voix du Coeur travel around the Okanagan to bring the joy of music to seniors for free

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

t
Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Most Read