Fresh Value Supermarkets invest in customer, team member wellness

Loss prevention VP ensures security, health in grocery shopping environment
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Thursday, April 23, 2020

TRUSSVILLE, Ala.—For approximately 24 years, Randy Guarneri, CFE, CFI and Security Systems News“ 40 under 40” Class of 2019 winner has dedicated his professional security career to the loss prevention industry, serving in many roles including director, regional loss prevention manager, district asset protection manager, market investigator, district auditor and loss prevention manager for brands such as Winn-Dixie, Harris Teeter, Saks Fifth Avenue, Family Dollar and EZPawn. 

In March 2019, Fresh Value Supermarkets, an Ala.-based, family owned supermarket with 275 total stores under five banners, appointed long time security expert, Guarneri, as VP of loss prevention. He is tasked with overseeing loss prevention at all Fresh Value Supermarkets stores and reports directly to the CEO. 

Because grocery stores source food and other essential products for people and pets, extra time, care and due diligence toward safety, security and wellness must be top priority at all times, but especially now during these COVID-19 days. Guarneri believes that Fresh Value Supermarkets was way ahead of the curve with regards to implementing the ‘new normal,’ as directed by the current global pandemic. 

“We installed sneeze guards before other companies followed,” he told SSN. “We also placed six-foot decals at checkout lines for customers to stand six-feet apart while waiting in line.” 

Fresh Value Supermarkets are also taking an innovative approach, going the extra mile to keep its customers and employees safe and healthy. The supermarket chain has invested in sanitizing machines specifically for shopping carts and hand-held shopping baskets. 

“The machines were custom-made to be compatible with all the different size of shopping carts/baskets that we have in our stores,” said Guarneri. “We are ahead of our competition in trying to curb the spread of the virus [COVID-19], but more importantly, we are dedicated to keeping our valued customers and team members safe. These innovative units will enhance the customer and team members’ safety and experience while shopping and working in our stores. Period.” 

The special-made sanitizing machines were designed in an arch shape and spray a non-toxic mist around the cart or basket as it is passed through, similar to the concept of a car wash.

“Customers can now roll their shopping cart or pass their hand basket thought the sanitizing machine,” Guarneri explained, “push a green button and it simply gets a ‘buggy bath.’ It sprays non-toxic, fragrance-free, CDC-approved chemicals that kill viruses, germs, bacteria and other toxins immediately and within seconds, no drying time needed.” 

Additionally, the organization is adding the new shopping cart/basket sanitation to its daily cleaning regimen chain-wide. Employees will be spraying the sanitizer daily through out every store and “have shopping cart sanitizing duties after hours.”

The employees will also be responsible for ensuring each machine has adequate amounts of sanitizer. The sanitizer is housed within each machine and will last approximately three weeks with anticipated usage, but with higher volume traffic in stores, the refilled could be needed more often. 

“I’ve seen many times during my career a small child biting on the shopping cart handle while their parents are selecting an item,” said Guarneri. “The sanitizing machines are here to stay and are a game changer now and post COVID-19. The threat of picking up a virus or illness will go down drastically. This is a game changer and I expect other grocery chains to follow our lead.”