Vernon Safeway store manager Stan Parker said his team is stepping up to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)

Vernon Safeway store manager Stan Parker said his team is stepping up to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)

Vernon grocery clerks ‘step up’ amid COVID-19: manager

Safeway staff working long hours to ensure shelves stocked for community

Photographs and videos of empty shelves have been circulating social media amid COVID-19, but Vernon’s Safeway location said it’s doing its best in ensuring the shelves are stocked nightly.

“The staff are trying to meet the needs of everyone in the community,” store manager Stan Parker said. “They are putting in long hours and putting on a brave face.”

Parker said he has noticed tensions are high amid these uncertain times and patrons are “frustrated.”

“People are getting a little frightened and scared and they’re getting more upset about things than usual,” he said.

On the morning of March 19, a minor incident between two individuals occurred over a package of hamburger and Parker said both individuals were escorted from the store without further incident.

Upon review of surveillance footage, he said he would describe the occurrence as a “non-incident,” but rather a reflection of the panic being felt amid growing concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus.

Despite the spike in shopping, Parker is continuously impressed by his staff’s efforts.

“My staff have really stepped up,” he said. “They are staying calm, cool and collected.”

Parker and his team continue to re-evaluate the ongoing and rapidly changing pandemic, but at this time, there are no limits on how many people are coming through the door.

However, Parker said this could change anytime.

In the meantime, Safeway is opening its doors between 8-8 p.m. seven days a week, but from 7-8 a.m., the store will only be open for senior shoppers.

READ MORE: ‘We will survive the best we can’: Okanagan wineries report sales decline due to COVID-19

READ MORE: Panic shoppers clearing Vernon grocery shelves


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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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