Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) has been the rare retail winner of the coronavirus pandemic. The warehouse club has seen a huge spike in sales as consumers stock up on items they actually need as well as ones that make them feel better.

In order to be able to serve its customers and keep its stores open, the company has decided to implement some new protocols, which CEO Craig Jelinek detailed in a letter to members.

The exterior of a Costco

Costco is keeping its stores open but with some changes. Image source: Costco.

What is Costco doing?

Jelinek's letter acknowledged that the chain has seen "a surge in business" due to the current pandemic. He explained the company has taken steps to control how many members are in a store at any given time while also asking members to practice social distancing.

The warehouse club has also cut some services, though the CEO did not detail which ones. He he did lay out how the retailer has stepped up its cleaning efforts:

We've increased our protocols in sanitizing surfaces, including shopping cart handles, merchandise shelves, front-end belts, and registers. Limits have been implemented on certain items to help ensure more members are able to access the merchandise they want and need. Our buyers and suppliers are working to ensure in-demand merchandise as well as everyday favorites are available in our warehouses.

These are smart steps to help keep Costco open and serving its customers. The chain is providing a service to members while also doing what it can to keep customers and employees safe.

Will others follow Costco's lead?

Grocery chains and other retailers selling essential supplies don't have the option of closing. Costco appears to be laying out a blueprint that companies can follow to remain open while being as safe as possible.