Grocery stores have been considered to be on the front lines during the pandemic, staying open as essential businesses and then adjusting store operations in many cases to help public health precautions.


Among the changes some stores have employed:


• Requiring staff to wear masks.


• Special hours for senior citizens or those who are immunocompromised.


• One-way aisles to reduce shopper congestion.


• Rationing some items in high demand if the supply chain causes some temporary shortages.


• Increasing online shopping.


• Closing earlier in the evening to allow for more restocking and sanitizing throughout the store.


Stores have also encouraged shoppers to wear masks and shop alone from their household if possible


Retail stores have been allowed to reopen this month and many big-box retailers have done so. Independence Center reopened May 15. A couple stores had remained open to small degrees for essential or curbside services. More than half of the mall’s 100-plus stores were to have been reopened by the end May. The mall placed hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the complex and has encouraged shoppers to wear masks.


Shoppers at one of the mall anchor’s, Macy’s, have witnessed several differences in store operations out of health precautions.


Among the changes:


• Plexiglass shields at registers.


• Hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas.


• Customers cannot handle beauty test products. Disposable, single-use applicators will be used for test products.


• Some fitting rooms will be closed, while open ones are frequently sanitized.


• Services such as bra fittings and ear piercings are suspended.


• Items returned or tried on will be held 24 hours before they’re returned to sales racks and displays.