Earlier this month Cub Foods announced that it is asking customers not to openly carry guns in its stores.
In a message highlighting the safety and well-being of its customers, the supermarket chain also discontinued the sale of e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
Consumers may know that other retailers such as Walmart, Kroger and Walgreens have also reconsidered their policies in light of mass shootings and vaping deaths. But what policies do other supermarket chains in the Twin Cities have regarding carrying firearms in their stores and selling vaping supplies? Representatives from local supermarket chains sent the following responses via e-mail.
Aldi: A company spokesperson did not return requests for comment but in September, the company tweeted, “We are asking that our customers refrain from openly displaying firearms in any of our stores, except for authorized law enforcement personnel.” Twin Cities stores checked do not sell vaping supplies.
Coborn’s: “Our policy regarding firearms in our stores is to allow federal, state and local laws to determine if an individual is lawfully carrying a firearm. However we reserve to ask a guest to reposition or store the firearm, remove it from the facility or leave our property if concern arises,” said Coborn’s spokeswoman Bridget Max. The company sells e-cigarettes in its convenience and grocery locations.
Hy-Vee: “Hy-Vee stores comply with all state laws and local ordinances with respect to guns and gun safety in each of the eight states and 200 or so communities in which we do business,” said Hy-Vee spokeswoman Tine Potthoff. “Stores currently sell vaping supplies but since the FDA is reviewing vaping/e-cigarettes, we too are reviewing the products we carry.”
Kowalski’s: “In order to ensure the comfort of shoppers and employees, we do not allow firearms in our stores unless they are carried by authorized personnel, such as law enforcement and armored car service employees, or the weapon is concealed in accordance with a valid weapons permit,” according to the company statement. It does not sell cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vaping supplies.
Lunds & Byerlys: “We respectfully request that customers do not openly carry guns in our stores unless they are authorized by law enforcement personnel,” said spokesman Aaron Sorenson in an e-mail. It does not sell cigarettes or vaping supplies.
Target: The Minneapolis-based retailer has requested that firearms not be brought into its stores since 2014. “We respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target, even in communities where it is permitted by law,” the retailer said in a statement at the time. Target took cigarettes off the shelf in 1996 and has never sold vaping supplies.
Trader Joe’s: In September, the company reissued its statement on guns: “Our approach has always been to follow local laws; and while that will not change, we want to make clear we do not welcome weapons of any kind in our stores. We respectfully request that customers not bring firearms into our stores.” Its stores do not sell cigarettes or vaping supplies.
Whole Foods: The natural foods retailer has a “No Firearms” policy that includes team members, customers and vendors. It does not sell cigarettes, e-cigs or vaping supplies.