We put several COVID-19-related questions to Ann Cheney, manager of Walter Stewart’s Market, and Doug Stewart, the local business’s vice president. Here’s our exchange.
New Canaanite: What has the past week been like for you and the market/wine shop?
Stewart’s: We have seen a substantial increase in customer in-store traffic, online orders, and phone calls. We are working hard to accommodate our customers and take care of our staff in challenging conditions.
What changes are you seeing in customer/client behavior?
Most customers are taking extra precautions when shopping. Customers are stocking up. There is an increased concern of staple shortages.
How are you accommodating them differently, if at all?
We have increased our curbside and delivery shopping service, though are we experiencing supplier shortages and delays in deliveries due to the unprecedented demand.
What are your thoughts for the near future, what is your concern level regarding your business’s ability to navigate this time?
We are taking measures in the short term to ensure the safety of our customers and employees by reducing our operating hours (slightly) and adjusting specific store operations. We also understand that this is a fluid situation so we are working with local agencies for ongoing support and input.
What is your message to customers?
We thank our customers for their continued support and we ask for continued understanding as we work through the challenges of high demand and a shortage of supplies. Our staff is committed to offering you the best personal service while also maintaining the highest level of food safety and sanitation. We respectfully request that any patrons exhibiting signs of illness please refrain from entering our store.
- Here’s a link to a page on the town’s website that includes information on COVID-19 and a link to sign up for New Canaan’s emergency outcall system.
- Here’s a link to the New Canaan Office of Emergency Management Facebook page.
- Here’s a landing page with information from New Canaan Public Schools on COVID-19, here’s the district’s main page for E-Learning.
- Here’s a comprehensive list of what local businesses are doing, compiled by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, which will update its Facebook page with more listings.