It’s a discovery no one wants to make. When Clean Management, Associated Retail Operations’ (ARO) floor crew, entered the backroom at Macey’s in Lehi last Monday at about 4:30 a.m., they were stunned to find water coming up through the floor seams and flowing like a river into the store.

The floor crew rushed to notify store leadership and soon Store Director Todd Barrett arrived at the store. Todd immediately reached Russ Hatt, Associated Food Stores’ physical facilities manager. Russ informed the local fire department who came to assist. The fire department discovered an eight-inch water line was leaking. The fire fighters were able to turn off the water, but not before it was running out the back dock and onto the sales floor. Two to three inches of water filled a good portion of the store along with dirt and grime.

Leadership and the store team took fast action. The center store operations team along with members of the shrink operations team were contacted and arrived to help the store with cleanup. District Manager Steve Skinner called all the store directors in Utah County and they set aside their plans for the day and rapidly responded to the need. Clean Management assisted with extra personnel and equipment. Maintenance responded with contact for large industrial vacuums. Everyone pulled together as a team to squeegee large amounts of water and to clean the sales floor.

“Everyone jumped in to push water out of the store, so the disaster cleanup crew could suck up water,” said Steve. “It’s obviously a situation we want to avoid. However, it was inspiring to see so many people rush to the rescue.”

“We rallied together and pushed hard,” said Steve. “We were able to open the store again on Wednesday afternoon and while it’s too early to tell if there is long-term damage, it is amazing to see how quickly the team was able to get the store shining and ready for guests. This is just another example of ‘One Associated’ in action.”

“I was truly impressed by the level of teamwork I saw at the Lehi store in a time of need. It is amazing to see how our team pulled together around a store that needed help and got them reopened very quickly,” said Greg Welling, vice president at ARO. “I had the opportunity to stop in the store the next morning and you would have never known there was an issue the previous day. The floors were clean, the team was smiling, working hard and merchandising was in place. At the end of the week, the Lehi store even ran a sales increase for the week over the prior year! The power of teamwork is amazing, thank you team!”