(SAVANNAH, GA) As an essential business selling fuel, grocery items and prepared foods, Enmarket’s stores across a three-state region continue to remain open to serve the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, those employees are receiving a temporary pay boost of $2.50 an hour, reflecting the importance of their role during this crisis, and the chain also will install plexiglass shields at its checkout counters as further protection for employees and customers.
The installation of the plexiglass shields, also known as “sneeze guards,” is expected to begin Monday and will include all of Enmarket’s stores, which are located in Georgia and the Carolinas.
The measures come in addition to health and safety measures already implemented throughout the chain, which is the 49th largest in the country. Those measures include the suspension of the sale of self-service food, like hotdogs and frozen yogurt, along with increased cleaning and sanitizing. The Eatery, Enmarket’s in-store food preparation operation, continues to prepare food under controlled sanitary conditions, but service is now limited to to-go orders, with use of dining tables on premises suspended.
“We wanted some tangible way to express to our employees how much we — and the shopping public —appreciate their efforts during this extraordinary time,” said Brett Giesick, president of Enmarket, which is based in Savannah. “Nothing is more tangible to an employee than their paycheck, so for the next three weeks, each hourly employee’s wage will be increased by $2.50 an hour.”
Salaried employees, who are eligible for bonuses as part of their compensation package, will be guaranteed 100% payout of their March and April bonuses.
Hourly Enmarket employees will receive a one-time check equivalent to $2.50 per hour for all hours worked from March 26 through April 15. This will include field technicians and other hourly team members that work in the field to support multiple stores.
The plexiglass shields will become a new icon of the current pandemic. Walmart, Kroger and other major retailers who are open for essential services during the crisis have begun to install the barriers to limit exposure between customers and cashiers during the check-out process. Enmarket is one of the first convenience store chains that has committed to installing them at every location.
“These shields will provide an additional level of safety for our employees,” Giesick said. “We will be moving as quickly as possible to get them in place at each of our checkout locations.”
Meanwhile, Enmarket’s adoption of self-checkout technology in 2019 is proving its value during the current pandemic. For example, Skip Frictionless Checkout enables users to check out on their phones, without direct interaction with a cashier.
Enmarket is Savannah’s largest convenience store chain, employing more than 1,300 people and operating 124 convenience stores, 14 quick-serve restaurants, and a fast casual restaurant as the 49th largest convenience store operator in the country. Founded as Interstate Stations by Robert Demere in 1963, the retailer operates convenience stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and was noted as the industry’s “Biggest Mover” in store count ranking by Convenience Store News in 2018. The company is committed to giving back to the community through many charitable contributions and volunteer efforts, offering fresh food, healthy snacks, and competitively priced quality fuel as part of its mission to enrich life. www.enmarket.com
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.