Fred Meyer in Richland reopens to the public on Sunday

RICHLAND, Wash. — It’s been nearly two weeks since a deadly shooting closed the Fred Meyer location in Richland. Now, they’re back open to the public.

The store opened at 9 a.m. on Sunday, February 20th, where dozens of customers were waiting to shop.

If you enter the Richland location, you may see a lot of new faces though.

“We wanted to put our associates first throughout this entire process,” said Jeffery Temple, Director of Corporate Affairs for Fred Meyer.

READ: Richland Fred Meyer employees ‘nervous,’ but ‘ready’ for return

Employees at the Richland location are being paid until February 26th, and don’t have to return to work until they feel ready. Some of those employees opted to work Sunday, while others did not.

But several associates from other locations helped open the store.

“We have 131 other stores with associates who’ve stepped up and asked to volunteer and help the Fred Meyer family,” Temple said. “The associates that are here today said that they’re ready to come back, and the associates who are not ready, they’re not here today, and that’s okay.”

Fred Meyer also gave every associate a $500, and partnered with Support, Advocacy, and Resource Center (SARC) to get employees additional resources.

“We want to make sure that we provide them resources for their mental health and physical well being,” Temple said.

READ: “An opportunity for change:” Richland Fred Meyer employees successfully unionize

Walking through the store, you might notice a few changes as well.

“One of the things we wanted to do with reopening was be very intentional,” Temple said. “Part of that involves making sure that we’re considerate of our associates, the community, and the victims of this awful tragedy. So removing aisle fourteen is one of the decisions that were made.”

Extra security will be on site as well.

“[We] want to make sure that we’re mindful and considerate for those who are still transitioning. It’s still a time of healing for many,” Temple said. “But we’re excited to be able to open back up, we’ve had so many customers that told us they’re ready for us to open.”