Kroger is giving its hourly frontline workers a “hero bonus” for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain announced that it would be adding a $2 bonus to workers’ standard base rate of pay for all hours worked between March 29 and April 18. The premium is expected to be paid weekly to provide workers with additional cash during the COVID-19 crisis.
This bonus will affect all hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center employees throughout the Kroger chain. On Kroger’s website, there are 31 store locations listed in Arkansas.
“Our associates have displayed the true actions of a hero, working tirelessly on the frontlines to ensure everyone has access to affordable, fresh food and essentials during this national emergency,” Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The Hero Bonus is just one more way we continue to convey our thanks and gratitude not only to our existing associates but also to the more than 30,000 new hires who have joined in the past two weeks and those who will soon join the Kroger Family of Companies.”
In addition, Kroger previously announced a one-time bonus of $300 for full-time employees and $150 for part-time employees. The one-time bonus, announced on March 21, will pay out April 3.
According to a company news release, Kroger is enhancing sanitization measures by regularly cleaning cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters and shelves; obtaining personal protective equipment for workers; and installing plexiglass partitions at check-out lanes and other registers. The grocery chain is also shifting hours as needed. Based on Kroger’s published hours, it has not changed any Arkansas store hours.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Kroger has reportedly seen an increase in sales. The company expects its first quarter sales for 2020 to exceed the annual growth rate provided for the full year of 2020.
“We are seeing strong sales and are at the same time investing in our business to support our customers and associates through the current uncertainty,” Gary Millerchip, Kroger’s chief financial officer, said.