HOLLAND, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As an essential needs-based retailer, Blain’s Farm & Fleet has been meeting critical needs throughout the coronavirus crisis, including providing agricultural products and livestock feed to the farming community, scrubs, workwear and protective gear to essential workers, pet supplies, food & beverages, home supplies, cleaning and paper products to local families. Now the Midwest-based retailer has announced new measures to support the safety and health of its associates and customers. Beginning today, Blain’s Farm & Fleet will limit the number of shoppers within its stores and alter store hours to increase its focus on its no-contact Buy Online, Pick Up in Drive Thru service.
To help encourage proper social distancing, Blain’s Farm & Fleet will be limiting the number of customers permitted inside its stores at one time. “Our top priority is the safety and health of our associate family and of our customers. We have taken multiple steps to encourage proper social distancing in our stores, and this additional measure of limiting the number of shoppers will create a safer environment for all,” says Jane Blain Gilbertson, Owner and President of Blain’s Farm & Fleet. “We are here for our neighbors to meet their essential needs, and right now we are asking them to help us out. Please try to limit the number in your party when you come to our stores with as few people as possible to do the shopping and to help us keep our associate family safe by giving them a good 6 feet of space. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding.”
In addition, Blain’s Farm & Fleet has altered store hours in its Michigan locations to allow associates more time to clean and restock while still providing service through its no-contact Buy Online, Pick Up in Drive Thru. The new store hours will be Monday - Saturday 9AM - 5PM with the Drive Thru remaining open until 7PM for customers to pick up online orders. Sunday hours will remain unchanged with stores open 10AM – 6PM. The first shopping hour of each day will remain dedicated to seniors, expectant mothers and other at-risk customers.
Blain’s Farm & Fleet’s Buy Online, Pick Up in Drive Thru service allows customers to have a no-contact shopping experience. Customers can download the Blain’s Farm & Fleet app or go to FarmandFleet.com to place their order and pay online. When the order is ready, they will receive a notification. Customers then pull into the drive thru, show their identification and Blain’s Farm & Fleet associates will place their items in the back of their vehicle. “Orders are typically ready in about 2 hours, but due to higher volumes in our drive thru it may take longer right now,” says Rich Steege. “We ask that customers wait until they are notified that their order is ready to enter the drive thru, and we are keeping the drive thru open 2 hours later than the store on Monday through Saturday to accommodate these online order pick-ups.”
Blain’s Farm & Fleet has focused on providing a clean and safe shopping environment for their associate family and their shoppers. Here are just a few of the previous steps that the family-owned Midwest company has taken:
- Installed Plexiglas barriers in checkout lanes and at service counters
- Provided wearable plastic barriers for Drive Thru associates
- Promoted social distancing with signs and associate buttons that remind all customers to keep 6 feet from themselves and others, floor guides at checkout lanes and service counters to aid in proper social distancing and regular overhead announcements to remind associates and customers
- Enacted a mandatory protocol of frequent disinfecting throughout the stores, including extra efforts in high traffic areas like checkout lanes and touch screens
- Provided gloves and encouraged the use of masks at each associate’s discretion
- Reduced hours in stores and automotive service centers to provide stores additional time to restock and clean
- Dedicated the first hour of each shopping day to seniors, expectant mothers and other at-risk customers
“For 65 years, Blain’s Farm & Fleet has remained steadfast in our commitment to treat our associates like family and our customers like neighbors,” says Jane Blain Gilbertson. “The wellbeing of our associate family and customer neighbors is of the utmost importance to us. We will continue to provide the necessities our farmers, essential workers and neighbors need as long as we are able, because we are all in this together.”