Grocery and supermarket store guidance during COVID-19

Published March 24, 2020

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread and social distancing guidelines tighten, some businesses, like restaurants and bars, have been required to close, or are closing voluntarily. 

Supermarkets and grocery stores, however, are dealing with an unprecedented surge in demand

Here are a few ideas that may help during this challenging time.



Point of Sale (POS)/HQ system

For high-demand items that you want to limit, set the purchase limit item attribute in your POS (or via products such as NCR Power HQ.) This will allow the system to stop the purchase beyond a defined quantity, making it easier on your cashiers.

Consider switching from paper to digital receipts (or stop auto-printing paper receipts) to help keep your customers and cashiers from handling paper unnecessarily.


Store congestion

Evaluate the best way to manage surges, in terms of your physical layout. Develop a plan for lines to form outside, versus inside, your store to encourage shoppers to keep a safe distance from each other.

Consider establishing dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable populations. Some stores, like Northgate Markets, are reserving the hour between 7 – 8 a.m. just for at-risk consumers.

Also, think about alternative fulfillment options such as delivery services and curbside pickup. Even if you don’t have systems in place like online ordering, you can still serve your customers using text messaging, social platforms or phone calls.


Payments and cash handling

For card payments, consider letting your customers dip or swipe their own cards using the PED. Wipe the PED clean after every use.

For cash payments, consider encouraging your customers to use mobile or card payments. 

What about cash management? Consider reducing the frequency of cash and media pickup and deposit with banks to maintain social distancing.


Additional ways to help keep your associates and customers safe

Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization for the latest guidelines and updates on the coronavirus. Additionally:

  • The CDC has posted guidance for workplaces 
  • Properly clean and sanitize your NCR equipment 
  • Due to the closing of many department of motor vehicle offices, some states are changing regulations about allowing expired licenses as valid identification. This may impact the way you handle age-restricted items. Please contact your state resources for additional guidance. Changing item attributes in your POS system and changing checkout procedures may be necessary.


In a time of uncertainty, NCR is ready to help

NCR is committed to helping retailers of all sizes navigate the many challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information, please contact NCR.

Our retail solutions experts are in the trenches with our customers, working hard to help provide guidance, solutions and recommendations.

You can find us at us call you back, call us in the U.S. at 1-800-CALL-NCR or call outside of the U.S. at 1-937-445-1936.


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