Of all times, why is Cub Foods now running stores around-the-clock?
Cub Foods will operate many of its locations 24 hours a day when many supermarkets have reduced store hours to give associates time to restock shelves and prepare for a constant stream of customers stocking up on everyday essentials.
The grocer, which had cut store hours from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. last month in response to the coronavirus outbreak, will keep 11 locations open around-the-clock in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. These are in addition to 13 other stores that Cub continued to operate 24 hours a day throughout the pandemic.
As to the why behind its decision, Cub management believes that expanded hours will serve the dual purpose of spreading out traffic at its stores, thereby making them safer for customers and staff, and giving associates greater flexibility in scheduling shifts that match their personal needs and those of their families. The chain will continue to offer older customers and those with underlying health conditions the option of shopping by themselves at 6:00 a.m. each day.
“Consumers expect grocery stores to be there for them, and in times of a natural disaster, we’re the last to close and the first to open,” Cub CEO Mike Stigers told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “That’s a responsibility we take seriously, and that’s why our work is essential now.”
Cub is looking to add 1,000 associates to its stores by the end of the month to address increased demand. The chain is paying a $2 an hour premium for hourly employees and is offering double hourly pay for overtime hours worked.
United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), which acquired Cub as part of the Supervalu deal in 2018, has been looking to divest the chain since the retailing operation doesn’t fit with the company’s grocery wholesale focus.
- Cub Foods going back to 24-hour shopping at 11 stores, hiring 1,000 workers – Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com
- Cub bucks trend, making 11 more stores open 24 hours – Minneapolis Star Tribune
- COVID-19 Response Summary – Cub
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Cub Foods’ decision to keep some of its stores operating around-the-clock when many grocers have reduced hours of operation? Do you think other supermarkets will begin expanding store hours?