The operator of Northern and NorthMart grocery stores says the company has increased food orders and is aiming to freeze prices for two months.
The stores are lifelines in many northern communities, often acting as the only local outlets for produce, non-perishables, and other basics. Eighteen NWT stores are operated by the company.
In a statement on Monday, the North West Company – which runs the stores – said it was working to “ensure continuity of the essential services we provide.”
The company said it had “increased orders of essential food and other grocery products” in the past several weeks “to ensure we have adequate supply for our customers.”
“As of today, we are meeting our customer demands with the exception of a few items,” the statement continued.
“To assure customers further, prices will be frozen for 60 days unless they relate to increases beyond our control.”
The company said store cleanliness and sanitization standards had been increased, with “extensive wipe downs during closed hours.” Ill employees are being asked to remain at home and seek medical attention as required.
All non-essential travel between communities has been terminated for the company’s staff. “Any approved travel is subject to health pre-screening,” the company added.
There are Northern or NorthMart stores in Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Délı̨nę, Fort Good Hope, Fort Liard, Fort McPherson, Fort Providence, Fort Resolution, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells, Paulatuk, Tsiigehtchic, Tuktoyaktuk, Tulita, and Ulukhaktok.