LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thorntons LLC is offering disposable hand coverings for its fuel customers to use during their fill-ups to ease concerns over touching the dispensers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chain has placed dispensers of GripHero hand protectors on the side of every fuel pump at its 200 stores in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. The static-resistant, biodegradable GripHero hand coverings are designed to minimize the potential transfer of germs while touching the fuel dispenser’s nozzle, grade selectors or PIN pads. There have been no confirmed cases of someone contracting COVID-19 from handling a contaminated fuel pump; however, it is said to be possible to pick up the coronavirus by touching a contaminated surface or object and then becoming infected by transferring it to the eyes, nose or mouth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“At Thorntons, we care greatly about the safety and well-being of our guests and our team members,” said Simon Richards, president and CEO of Thorntons, Louisville, Ky. “We are pleased to offer this innovative new solution as an added layer of protection to bring our guests extra peace of mind when they shop for fuel and other great products at our always-clean stores.”
Thorntons is said to be the first fuel retailer in the United States to offer GripHero hand coverings, which are manufactured by U.K.-based GripHero Ltd. According to GripHero’s website, more than 1,000 fueling sites globally offer its hand coverings on the forecourt.
Many fuel retailers in the United States have added complimentary disposable gloves and hand sanitizer at the pump, and also ramped up their cleaning procedures. (For more on proper pump cleaning procedures, click here.)
Mobile, app-based services such as Booster Fuels have also offered “no-touch” fueling to consumers eager to avoid touching fuel dispensers. And operators such as Kum & Go and Hy-Veehave introduced full-service fueling during the pandemic.
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