First and foremost, to our military, first responders, and other medical professionals, we want to thank you for everything you are doing to keep us safe, help us stay healthy, and find a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But there is another group of people – as great in number and possibly even greater in anonymity – who are out battling on the front lines – the grocers, pharmacists, and other ‘essential service’ providers who will continue to operate while others pause.
To you – the unsung heroes – I’d like to offer the most heartfelt THANK YOU on behalf of myself and my team of more than 900 associates worldwide who partner with many of you on a daily basis. All of us as global citizens are – and will continue to be – dependent on you to get through this crisis. You deserve our gratitude and appreciation beyond what words can truly express.
This an unprecedented time for our generation. Schools have been cancelled; venues have been closed; bars and restaurants are suspending dining room service. But the grocers quietly and diligently carry on.
The media and social networks are often quick to pick up on the negative and sensational outliers – from fighting to hoarding and everything in between. Rarely do you see coverage of the consistent, essential, and downright pervasive positivity and humanity taking place right in front of us by “everyday people.”
It’s easy to notice the daily – sometimes hourly – briefings coming from doctors and politicians. But for every briefing from a government podium, there are thousands of stand-ups and rallying cries in grocery storerooms and cashier lanes – not to mention a friendly smile to remind you that this is just a bump in the road – not the end of the line.
We all see – and appreciate – your work from the Front Lines of this crisis.
So once again, we say thank you…
- … To the vendor suppliers, truck drivers and warehouse associates who show up day after day to keep the supply chain moving.
- … To the store associates who keep the shelves stocked and the checkouts civil and efficient.
- … To the store managers and home delivery drivers working to creatively meet the needs of all your customers no matter their personal circumstances.
- … And to all the category managers, brokers and other support functions that keep the business running behind the scenes.
In many ways, we are better prepared today than at any other point in history to address and persevere through this crisis – from more robust supply chains to more agile store operations. But no algorithm could have predicted the COVID-19 impact, and we know that this will continue to test and stress retail operations in the near term.
At the end of the day, it comes down to people helping people – and you are some of the best in the world. You will help us overcome this challenge, and we stand ready and honored to help you in any way we can.
Chief Executive Officer