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JULY 9, 2020
At Vince’s Market, the safety, health and well-being of our customers and Team Members have always been a top priority. We hold cleanliness and hygiene in the highest regard. And in light of the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we have stepped it up even further to ensure your peace of mind while shopping.
We have put in place additional steps and measures to help ensure that your family has access to the fresh foods we are known for, along with the other items and essentials your family depends on.
Even Safer Store Entry Procedures:
When you arrive at any of our stores, you’ll be greeted at the front entrance by a Team Member, who will help ensure that your shopping experience is as safe and convenient as circumstances allow. This person will:
If, for any reason, you’re unable to enter our store, please visit our website to place an order and we’ll be happy to pick it for you. We can bring your order to your car, or alternatively, we can offer home delivery service. (*some restrictions apply, see our website for details)
Please visit https://vincesmarket.ca/orderonline
Updated Store Hours, Increased Cleanliness:
This has always been a strength for Vince’s Market, but we have updated our store hours to allow even more time for cleaning and sanitization – and to provide our Team more time to rest and recover.
New hours at our four main locations: Mon-Wed 7am-8pm; Thurs-Fri 7am-9pm; Sat-Sun 7am-7pm. Our Upper Canada Mall location has now reopened: Mon-Sat 11am-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm.
Plexiglass Shields at All Checkouts:
We have installed plexiglass shields at each of our checkout lanes to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 – protecting both our Team Members and our customers.
To further safeguard customers, while supporting the smooth flow of traffic in our stores, we are introducing directional aisles at some Vince’s locations. Keep an eye for directional signage to help you move through our departments safely and more quickly – while maintaining an appropriate social distance.
Face Coverings for Staff – and now Customers:
Vince’s team members have already been wearing appropriate protective gear. It’s just one more way we can deliver this essential service with care. As of July 10 in Durham Region, July 13 in Simcoe-Muskoka, and July 17 in York Region, local Medical Officers of Health have mandated the use of non-medical masks or face coverings in public indoor spaces. This includes all Vince’s Market locations.
Home Delivery or Pickup Service Now Available:
Place your order online (or by phone for those who don’t have computer access), and we can either deliver to your home or have the items ready for pickup at any of our four main stores. Some restrictions apply – see our website for more details.
Credit or Debit, Rather Than Cash:
For in-store purchases, we respectfully ask, that for the time being, you use Debit/Credit Tap as a payment method instead of cash, to help reduce the transmission of this virus.
We will, however, continue to accept cash from those customers who do not have either a Debit or Credit card.
Fresh Prepared Foods:
Our prepared foods are no longer self-serve. This includes our Salad Bar and Olive Bar. In these departments, all items are offered prepackaged in containers. Our Hot Bar in Sharon is now staffed, and these items will be served to you.
Many of our baked goods, like fresh baguettes and bread loaves, were once sold in open paper bags. These are now covered and sealed. Loose buns and croissants are sold in sealed bags as well.
Our popular Explore Discover Share in-store sampling program has been paused. We will reinstate it when circumstances allow.
Returns, Bottle Deposits, Rainchecks and Substitutions:
As of Monday, May 25, began accepting bottle returns with the proper precautions in place. Our team will be asking that customers place the bottle into a clean bag, which will then be put into a crate and returned to the vendor.
We will continue to not accept returns, until further notice, to minimize risk to our Customers and Team Members.
Some items featured in our flyers may not be in stock. We will not be providing rain checks or substitutions at this time, and apologize for any inconvenience.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we kindly ask that if you choose to bring reusable bags, you keep them in your cart and bag your own groceries.
We are asking all Team Members to inform us of any recent travel or contact with travellers. And if they’ve been outside of Canada, we’re requiring them to stay home for 14 days – even if they do not have symptoms.
For those at work, hand washing and glove wearing has become even more of a priority to reduce the spread of germs and viruses.
Our Commitment to You
As the COVID-19 situation develops, and as we receive more information, we’ll continue to adapt and modify our response. Our aim is to provide the best possible shopping experience – in an environment of cleanliness and safety.
If you have any concerns in one of our stores, or have suggestions on how we can improve, please feel free to reach out to me, or any of our supervisors.
We value your trust in our Team.
Partner, Vince’s Market
We are now well over a month into the COVID-19 pandemic. And I know that it has been a difficult and challenging time for both our customers and Team members.
I take pride in the job being done by our staff, and in their ability to provide our customers a sense of normalcy – when it is anything but that. And I appreciate the loyalty of our customers, who continue to put their trust in us, along with adapting to the many changes we’ve made to help keep everybody safe.
In particular, those changes at the front of our stores. You may feel uncomfortable being screened and asked to use hand sanitizer (or wear fresh gloves) as you enter, but it is all being done to help ensure your safety and well being.
To further reduce the risk of transmission, we are encouraging you to go cashless, and use the tap function on your credit card. And if you are anxious about shopping in-store, we are offering convenient home delivery or store pickup services. You’ll find more details about this online at https://vincesmarket.ca/orderonline. Our Home Shopping Team has really stepped it up, and is ensuring customer orders are picked in a timely manner.
We are continuing to review our safety measures and programs to ensure they are wide-ranging and inclusive, to minimize any risk you may face while shopping at our locations.
The attached document includes all the programs we’ve implemented since the beginning of this pandemic, and we’ll let you know of any updates as we move forward.
Thank you, and stay well!
Partner, Vince’s Market
SHARON ON, APRIL 9, 2020
To our valued Customers,
Since yesterday’s announcement by Premier Ford regarding grocery stores closing on Friday and Sunday, we have seen an immense increase in store traffic. Our greatest fear was quickly realized within hours of the announcement, and further this morning with significant lineups forming outside of our locations.
Although only 48 hours ago, Premier Ford was telling the media that he hoped grocery stores would stay open all weekend, that position has now changed.
For the past few weeks, we had been preparing to be open with reduced hours (9am-5pm) on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This was based on the understanding that we were being encouraged to remain open all weekend to ensure the accessibility of food for our customers – and provide them with the best opportunity to spread out shopping trips to ensure we can maintain best practices around safe operation during this pandemic.
Deliveries have been arranged, department schedules have been made, and we were prepared to operate.
Through our association with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), in which I am currently serving as the Vice Chair, we asked for clarification. The response was that the Premier was saying this weekend is ‘status quo’.
Many municipalities have chosen to provide exemptions and allow openings. Both for the Friday and Sunday. So if we have exemptions from our municipality, for whatever days, then we can operate as we did last year.
As it relates to our Vince’s Market locations, we are permitted to open by way of these exemptions, or by prior judgement in our favour, at the Sharon, Newmarket and Uxbridge locations.
The Province does have the authority to override municipal by-laws, but they did not do so.
We wish the province had provided clear guidance on this at a much earlier point, but this is the situation we have to deal with. And it is one that will, in our view, create problems and confusion for our employees and customers this holiday weekend.
As we envisioned what a Friday and Sunday closure would mean for our business and our staff, we quickly realized that a Good Friday closure would cause extreme challenges in receiving product, replenishing shelves, and being able to serve customers in any way other than what we would expect to be chaos on Saturday.
Being able to pivot this quickly is just not possible. If we were to close to the public, our staff would still be required as per their already scheduled shift, to attend and prepare for what would come on Saturday. That said, Easter Sunday is a day we can handle the full day closure, both for the public and for staff to provide some much needed relief.
So after much consideration and consultation with our Management Team, Store Department Supervisors and Department leads, the following is how we will move forward.
As we have prepared to be open and serving our communities, we will continue with our plan to remain open this Good Friday from 9am-5pm, and Saturday from 8am to 7pm. Sunday we will fully close at our Sharon, Newmarket and Uxbridge locations.
We have decided to close our Tottenham location on both Good Friday and Easter Sunday, based on recent customer traffic indicators that show this location will not feel the effect of surge shopping, bottlenecks and customer frustration by being closed for both days.
For those team members from Tottenham that anticipated the opportunity to earn time and half pay from working on the Statutory Holiday, should they still wish to do so, we are offering this opportunity at our other locations.
I am providing this information and context above for the purpose of transparency.
I assure you we have not made this decision lightly, and understand very much the anxiety and fatigue that has come from this sustained increase in pressure that we face day after day. We are onboarding new team members daily and cannot express how proud we are of the hard work that everybody is putting in.
We feel this decision will best maintain good order and a consistent level of operational expectations this weekend, which is a better alternative than the immense uncertainty and problems that would arise from closing on Good Friday.
We are hoping a return to normal operation comes much sooner rather than later, as a whole.
The communities we serve are small in nature, and there are limited shopping options available to our customers. Being open on holidays is a service we have provided for over 30 years, and one that our customers have told us they appreciate. It is in this spirit, that we will continue to do so this Good Friday, and then on Sunday we will rest and recharge.
We value your trust in our Team.
Partner, Vince’s Market