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Smith’s to extend store hours amid state’s reopening

FILE: A customer leaves Smith's on 6th Avenue in Salt Lake City March 1. Smith's will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations to Utahns who are 70 and older beginning next week. (Photo: Laura Seitz / KSL)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — As the state begins to lift restrictions and businesses gradually reopen, Smith’s Food & Drug will temporarily extend store hours — noting it wants to give shoppers increased flexibility as the state transitions to its “new normal.”

The grocery store will open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6-8 a.m. for senior shoppers over the age of 60. The store will extend its business two hours, opening from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. to the general public.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends the store will open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for all shoppers. 

Extensions begin Sunday, with all 141 locations responding to the governor’s guidelines moving the state from high to moderate risk. 

“We decided to expand our hours due to an improving supply chain and stronger product availability,” said Aubriana Martindale,
Smith’s Corporate Affairs Manager, in a statement. “Our stores have the capacity to serve more customers throughout the day while
maintaining cleanliness and providing the products they want at our everyday low prices.”

Smith’s will provide masks for all of its workers, requiring associates to wear them during shifts. 

The grocer has asked federal and state governments to designate store associates as “extended first responders.” If allowed, the store will receive priority access to protective masks and other benefits. 

The store is also encouraging shoppers to wear masks, which mirrors Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson’s specific guidelines for the county. 

“As businesses open, they’ll need to begin to operate differently,” Wilson said Wednesday. “Social distancing, face masks and sanitation will be necessary.”

Enforcement of these new policies will be through the health department with fines and penalties, as allowed through local law. While the county doesn’t want to be “heavy handed,” Wilson said she hopes local governments will help enforce these guidelines.

In addition to extending store hours, Smith’s will also be waiving its general pick-up fee for all online orders through the store’s website or online app. These pick-up orders will be completed through curbside service to limit in-person contact. 

“Through our e-commerce services, we remain committed to providing our customers with ways to save more time and maintain physical distancing during the pandemic,” Martindale said.