COVID-19 latest news from Europe

05 May 2020
The food industry is helping shoppers in challenging times As we enter week seven of the lockdown, the food and grocery industry has managed to maintain the supply of food and drink following the spike in demand in March. Traffic at food retail stores reached levels rarely seen before, outpacing peak trading periods including holidays and special shopping events. Sainsbury’s recently rep...
17 April 2020
In this article, updated daily, we summarise the latest responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK: Multiples update Morrisons offers 10% discount to NHS staff: From Thursday, NHS staff will be entitled to a 10% discount when shopping at the retailer's stores. The scheme will last until July 12th when it will be reviewed. This latest initiative follows on from Morrisons...
17 April 2020
On 23 March, we reported that all the UK’s largest food-to-go operators had closed their doors after the government announced restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and measures to support businesses during this time. Nearly four weeks later, the news that three of the UK’s most popular chains were re-opening selected stores will have delighted many of their fans (a...
16 April 2020
Waitrose has unveiled a range of measures to help it support its most vulnerable suppliers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. £200,000 from the Waitrose Foundation Global Fund Some of the measures put in place include a £200,000 purse from the Waitrose Foundation Global fund, which will support its overseas farming communities. The purse is due to be used to convey advice on social...
16 April 2020
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, convenience operators are implementing measures to ensure everyone has access to the food and consumer goods products they need. We will continue to update this article as the latest initiatives are announced. Latest from UK Co-op has invested £3m to install thousands of protective Perspex screens at till points in its 2,600 stores, alo...
16 April 2020
The latest release from the British Retail Consortium Retail Sales Monitor (BRC-RSM), shows that UK retail sales fell by 4.3% in March, the largest monthly drop in the history of the measure. While sales in supermarkets saw an exceptional peak in the month, large elements of non-food sales fell away sharply, even before the general shutdown announced on 23 March. Then thereafter many non-food sec...
16 April 2020
Amazon is set to temporarily suspend all non-essential deliveries in the country, as reported by Reuters. Closure of six warehouses The retailer will close its six warehouses in France until at least 20 April, following a court order to limit deliveries to essential products, including food and medical supplies. According to the report, Amazon will use a state partial-unemployment scheme...
16 April 2020
We bring you the latest news on how retailers and suppliers are coping with the challenges of COVID-19 in Germany. We will continue to update this article with the latest initiatives. Ten-point plan for retail The German Trade Association has laid out a plan for a gradual return to normality. It includes measures to support small businesses, stimulate consumer spending, adjust labour l...
16 April 2020
The German Trade Association has laid out a plan for a gradual return to normality, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues. 1. Non-discriminatory guidelines The majority of shops remain closed across Germany but as this is reversed in the future, clear and consistent regulations are necessary to avoid legal uncertainty, unfair competition or collective uncertainty. Decisions shoul...
15 April 2020
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requiring shoppers globally to remain at home, retailers exhausting online order capacity, and rationalising ranges, now is the time for businesses to use online to sell directly to consumers (D2C). Demand is so high for online ordering and home delivery, that the cost to acquire and retain shoppers, a key barrier to launching a D2C operation, is current...
14 April 2020
Ahead of releasing Q1 results on 30 April, McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski issued an update on the company’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and performance since the beginning of 2020.  Key messages The statement focussed on three key points: The current situation has had a significant impact on business: started 2020 in a strong position, with global like-for-l...
09 April 2020
In this article, updated daily, we summarise the latest responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK: Multiples update: Tesco releases annual results and updates on COVID-19: More normal shopping behaviour has resumed after a surge in demand for certain items in the first few weeks of the crisis caused sales uplifts of c.30%. Grocery home shopping capacity has been in...
09 April 2020
As countries implement social distancing measures to slow down the spread of coronavirus, foodservice operators have been forced to close their doors. Whilst some have been able to use government support to effectively hibernate operations, others have reacted with agility to adapt to the situation and bring new purpose to their businesses. The changes they have made fall into three main areas...
08 April 2020
SPAR stores in England are to be the first convenience retailers to partner with the Royal Voluntary Service on its NHS Volunteer Responders programme. This will enable volunteers to shop on behalf of vulnerable community members and make payments in store for them. Service accessible in over 700 stores The Volunteer Responders Programme has been put in place to support those referred to th...
08 April 2020
Tesco has released robust full year results for the year to 29 February 2020, together with an update on how it is supporting customers and colleagues through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Headline results (actual exchange rates, 52 week change) Group sales: -0.7% to £56.5bn UK & Ireland sales: +0.1%, +0.2% LFL Tesco UK: -0.6%, -0.3% LFL Booker sales: +5.0%, +3.3% LFL Ce...
07 April 2020
Booths has launched a next day click & collect service at three of its stores. The retailer also recently launched a limited delivery service for those unable to get to one of its stores. Next day click & collect With its new click & collect service, Booths’s customers can order online from a range of more than 150 products, which can be collected from the retailer’s Garstang, Lytham or Kir...
07 April 2020
Major UK convenience retailer, McColl’s is teaming up with restaurant delivery expert Deliveroo to offer home delivery. The service aims to help support vulnerable customers during their coronavirus isolation. Initial availability in 120 stores, to be rolled out to 300 Offering a range of food, grocery, cleaning and hygiene essentials, as well as news and magazines, shoppers will be able to...
07 April 2020
Spar Croatia is increasing its collaboration with an additional 60 small-scale agricultural producers, who are facing challenges marketing their produce due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Gardens of Croatia” Spar Croatia is appealing to small producers who cannot market their produce to get in touch with the retailer directly so products can be packaged and delivered through its n...
06 April 2020
In this article we look at what UK variety discounters are doing to address the challenges created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Temporary store closures B&M will be closing 49 stores as a response to the current trading conditions. The retailer has not announced what stores these will be, but has said it is likely they will be small format stores Poundland will be closing 1...
06 April 2020
In this regularly updated article, we summarise the latest responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from discounters in the UK; Latest update Monday 6th April Aldi The elderly and most vulnerable will have exclusive access to stores for 30 minutes browsing time before they open, from Monday to Saturday. They can then purchase items as the stores open to the general public B...
06 April 2020
Only 10 days since we reported that the majority of the UK’s restaurant and food-to-go chains were closing all operations, some have now re-opened their kitchens to launch new services.   Although the logistics are complex, there are benefits to remaining operational in some way: Offering services that support key workers and the vulnerable can boost staff morale, build ties with the loc...
06 April 2020
Walmart has halted moves to sell a majority stake in its UK business so it can focus fully on its response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to press reports. No rush to resume sale process Sources at the retailer, speaking to CNBC under condition of anonymity, said the sale process has been paused to allow the leadership team to concentrate fully on the day to day running o...
06 April 2020
In this article, updated daily, we summarise the latest responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK: Market update: GB grocery market sees fastest growth on record. Market growth for the 12 weeks to 22 March was +7.6%, the fastest rate in over a decade, according to Kantar. The rapid growth was driven by a 20.6% surge in sales over the last four weeks. . More details here ...
03 April 2020
Asda has announced the addition of 300,000 slots to its online delivery operation, as demand for home deliveries increases due to the coronavirus pandemic. 700,000 slots a week As a result of the move, the number of delivery slots available on a weekly basis has now risen to 700,000, split evenly daily. Roger Burnley, Asda’s CEO, commented: “ We have been working around the clock to expa...
03 April 2020
Stress testing the relationship between the food industry and shoppers In the last few weeks, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has really tested the relationship between the food and grocery industry and its shoppers. Traffic at food retail stores has been at a level rarely seen before, outpacing peak trading periods including holidays and special shopping events. In response to incre...
03 April 2020
We look at what retailers in Ireland are doing to address the challenges created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Aldi Rolling out new social distancing measures, including posters in-store and clear markings on the floor for queuing It is also commencing the installation of protective screens at every till to safeguard its colleagues and customers  Priority hours for the el...
03 April 2020
In this article we round up the latest initiatives from Aldi and Lidl UK and Ireland to address the challenges created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Aldi Implemnted a one person, one trolley rule in a bid to encourag all customers to try and reduce the number of family members they bring with them into stores Through its partnership with Neighbourly, Aldi will be donating 5...
02 April 2020
With increased pressure on pharmacies and an exceptional increase in demand for health, hygiene and personal care products, Boots continues to evolve its approach to best serve customers and communities.   Donating 200,000 essential products Building on its existing relationship with the Hygiene Bank , Boots will donate essential toiletries to hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis, with t...
01 April 2020
Market growth for the 12 weeks to 22 nd March was +7.6%, the fastest rate in over a decade, according to Kantar. The rapid growth was driven by a 20.6% surge in sales over the last four weeks – equivalent to an extra £10.8bn of spending - as shoppers stocked up on groceries and switched back to retail from out-of-home consumption in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Huge increa...
01 April 2020
Over the last few weeks we have seen retailers implement a range of social-distancing initiatives, including floor stickers, plexiglass guards and limiting the number of shoppers in store at any one time. We consider how retailers may start to think differently about the future store experience so that they can respond at pace to any future social-distancing requirements. 1. Changes to stor...
01 April 2020
Many column inches and news broadcast minutes have focused on the challenge of getting food and groceries to the most vulnerable members of society, in a world where large sections of society are not allowed to leave their homes except for essential purposes, and where retailers are under increased pressure to keep essential food and grocery products in stock. A quarter need outside help ...
01 April 2020
Carrefour and Uber Eats are due to start a new grocery delivery service in Paris, amid the nationwide lockdown in the country more widely. Starting on 6 April The new delivery service will be operational from 6 April. Shoppers will be able to pick one of 15 Carrefour stores around Paris on the Uber Eats app or website, or alternatively, order their products, which include everyday essential...
01 April 2020
A round-up of the latest developments from UK food-to-go and out-of-home operators this week. Switching channels A national initiative to enable pubs to trade as food shops offering essential items such as bread, eggs and milk has been set up. mypubshop.com is a partnership between Brakes, Coca-Cola European Partners and Use Your Local, and is powered by ecommerce trading platform ...
31 March 2020
We look at what retailers in Ireland are doing to address the challenges created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Aldi Rolling out new social distancing measures, including posters in-store and clear markings on the floor for queuing It is also commencing the installation of protective screens at every till to safeguard its colleagues and customers  Priority hours for the el...
31 March 2020
We look at what Iceland Foods is doing to meet the evolving challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Helping to enforce social distancing Limiting the numbers of shoppers in store  Placing tape on the floor every two meters, guiding shoppers on how to maintain a safe distance from each other Contact-free delivery is available for those shopping online Ensuring shoppe...
31 March 2020
In this article we round up the latest initiatives from Aldi and Lidl UK and Ireland to address the challenges created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Aldi Introduces priority shopping for all emergency workers. They will be able to bypass the queues into store any time by showing ID Store and distribution staff will recieve a 10% pay rise, backdated from 9th March, in recogn...
31 March 2020
Spar Switzerland has launched a free home delivery service for high-risk shoppers, in view of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Partnership with Zämädihei To implement the new service, which has been launched on 18 March, the retailer has partnered with Zämädihei, a platform that offers support services to groups of population that are most susceptible to suffer from being infected by co...
31 March 2020
Tesco adds more home delivery and Click & Collect slots to cope with the increasing demand that resulted from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 780,000 slots this week The number of slots has been increased to 780,000 this week, up from 660,000 slots two weeks ago, with the aim of increasing this figure by an additional 100,000 in the next few weeks. To do so, Tesco plans to add more tha...
30 March 2020
Aldi is fast tracking its payments to over 200 of its smallest suppliers in Ireland, thanks to a new five-day payment regime that has been put in place. Up to €1million worth of goods annually The new payment terms, which will become effective by the end of March, will remain in place throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They will apply to businesses that supply the retailer with...
30 March 2020
Major UK national wholesaler, Bestway has put in place clear social-distancing measures across its self-service cash & carry network, to safely manage the high levels of footfall seen during the current pandemic emergency. One-in one-out to limit customers in-depot Bestway has set limits on the number of customers in each of its depots at any one time.  Depending on depot size, this restric...
30 March 2020
Improved hygiene – meaning more frequent hand washing and sanitising – is a key part of the response to Coronavirus. As a result, supplies of soap and sanitising gel have come under pressure. Several UK drinks companies have responded to this need by re-purposing their equipment to produce alcoholic gels and washes. Alternatively, some are supplying high-strength alcohol to specialist companie...
30 March 2020
The UK government has developed a range of activities to support businesses through the turmoil associated with Coronavirus, focusing especially on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is likely, however, that some businesses will still become insolvent as a result of Coronavirus. Plans for reforming insolvency laws have therefore been brought forward as part of the government respon...
30 March 2020
The Competition Act (1998) provides for the Secretary of State for Business to allow certain practices that would otherwise be prohibited, where there is compelling public benefit. The UK government has therefore laid before Parliament a new Statutory Instrument (SI), allowing for temporary relaxation of the competition rules for the grocery supply chain LINK . The Competition Act 199...
30 March 2020
Businesses in the UK are being supported through the Coronavirus outbreak via three main mechanisms: Financial / monetary Fiscal Legislative Financial and monetary support is provided by the Bank of England, in co-ordination with other central banks globally. The aim is to keep the international financial system working and ensure capital remains available to businesses. Key m...
27 March 2020
The EU has instructed member states to take steps to improve the flow of goods across borders during the Coronavirus crisis. Border crossings must now incorporate “Green” lanes, which will allow freight of all kinds to pass with minimal delay or discrimination. Crossing a border should take no more than 15 minutes. States are also urged to suspend other measures which might disrupt the fl...
27 March 2020
George Eustice, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has published an open letter, thanking all who work in the food and grocery industry for serving the public during the Coronavirus outbreak. He writes: “… I am personally enormously proud and thankful for all the work that you have done in recent weeks, and will be asked to do in the weeks ahead. In many cases you...
27 March 2020
As the UK approaches the end of its first week under near lockdown, we look at how the grocery sector is adapting to new operating conditions. Improving safety for customers and colleagues Retailers have moved at pace to design and install safeguarding screens to protect customers and colleagues. To reduce the risk of transmission, some retailers are limiting the numbers of customers in-sto...
27 March 2020
To protect employees and consumers from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), retailers in Denmark, Sweden and Norway have added dedicated hygiene lines and plexiglass to the checkouts. Denmark: hygiene lines and new initiative for suppliers Coop and Salling Group have introduced distancing measures with “hygiene lines”. These are tape markings on the floor of the checkout lines that work to remind s...
26 March 2020
With retailers expecting elevated demand levels to continue, although for most at slightly lower levels than recent weeks, we look at what changes are being made to support this and how they could shape food retailing in the future. 1. Range rationalisation: choice vs efficiency Most retailers are undertaking some form of range rationalisation, especially in high-demand categories. These in...
26 March 2020
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, EU antitrust regulators have relaxed the competition law for suppliers to coordinate the distribution of scarce products. The competition law normally forbids retailers from exchanging information on their stocks, prices and sales under rules that target illegal cartels. However, the pandemic may require cooperation from retailers to ensure the ...
26 March 2020
Leading north-west regional wholesaler, Parfetts has moved to a 24/7 picking operation to meet spiking delivery orders from its independent retail customers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Faced with unprecedented consumer demand independent retailers are purchasing in significantly increased volumes to meet these needs.  Parfetts’ traditional cash & carry business is also sharply...
26 March 2020
We look at the actions and responses of retailers across France as they look to support the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On Tuesday 17 March, France’s president Emmanuel Macron took the unprecedented decision of putting the country into complete lockdown to try to slow down the spread of the virus. It made France the third European country to take this step nationally, af...
26 March 2020
The past week has been a time of unprecedented change for the UK’s foodservice operators as the government announced tighter social distancing guidelines that meant dine-in spaces had to close.  Takeaway and delivery are still allowed but the processes involved in providing these services raise concerns for the wellbeing of staff and customers. At the same time, however, the government also la...
26 March 2020
On February 28, SPAR International released a document on Preparedness Planning to help its customers and partners respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Recognising consumer behavioural shifts SPAR outlined the anticipated consumer behaviour shifts:                       Avoidance of dining out along with shifting to more meals at home, especially where schools might be clos...
25 March 2020
Morrisons introduces a new next-day delivery service of food and essentials boxes during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Choice between a meat or vegetarian box, costing £35 The new service, called Morrisons Food Boxes, enables shoppers to choose between a meat or a vegetarian box. The boxes contain £30 worth of groceries, while an additional cost of £5 is charged for delivery to shopp...
25 March 2020
Having previously announced it has temporarily stopped shipping non-essentials in Italy and France, Amazon has now rolled this out to India. The retailer will now focus on shipping the products customers need the most.   Limiting non-essential orders Earlier this week, Amazon temporarily stopped taking orders on non-essential products on its sites in Italy and France. The initiative has bee...
25 March 2020
INEOS, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, has revealed it will build a hand sanitiser factory in Newton Aycliffe, near Middlesbrough, and another one in Germany, within ten days. One million hand sanitisers per month The new plants are due to tackle the shortage of hand sanitisers in Europe by producing one million of them per month. According to INEOS, they will be produce...
25 March 2020
In this article we look at what UK variety discounters are doing to address the challenges created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. B&M: prioritising food and supporting vulnerable shoppers Going forwards B&M will be; Prioritising food, toiletries and cleaning products over non-grocery in all warehouses and on lorries Providing extra support for the elderly and vulnerable fi...
25 March 2020
Our team has been continually monitoring the latest developments from retailers and manufacturers globally over the past few weeks. In this article we highlight three ways retailers are and could further adapt their online operations to deal with the on-going effects of the pandemic. 1. Making online groceries available for those most in need We have seen retailers around the world flex the...
25 March 2020
Heathrow is due to scale up its cargo capabilities as it appeals to more airlines and freight organisations to make maximum use of the airport’s quieter schedule. Supporting the economic and social fight against COVID-19 Vital supply lines will be kept open thanks to the continuation of air freight, and will support the delivery of time-dependent and temperature sensitive goods across the c...
25 March 2020
With the COVID-19 outbreak challenging supply chain teams around the world, the ECR community in Italy has developed some best practice for teams operating in affected areas. The guidance, which is aimed at reducing COVID-19 risk in logistics, has been developed by a group of companies and academics with the support of the Italian Logistics Association. The advice pulls on observations from...
25 March 2020
Consumer goods company Unilever has announced a series of measures aimed at supporting consumers, communities and suppliers. Product donations, partnerships and education programmes Unilever is donating products such as soap, sanitiser, bleach and food worth at least €50 million to the COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum, whilst adapting its current manufacturing lines to prod...
24 March 2020
Research and training charity, IGD, has been bringing the food and grocery industry together in the wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19), engaging with retailers, manufacturers, government, trade associations and other key stakeholders, to help ensure food is able to flow through the supply chain and reach those people most in need. Susan Barratt, CEO of IGD, said: “We all understand that this i...
24 March 2020
The UK government has taken steps to relax aspects of competition law, allowing businesses to co-operate to improve supplies of necessities to shoppers during the viral outbreak LINK . These measures are of limited effect and duration and apply primarily to retailers, allowing them to: Co-operate to keep stores open Pool staff Share information on stock levels Share transport...
24 March 2020
Across the world companies are increasing their collaboration to help fight the pandemic and tackle product shortages. Global spirit manufacturers Diageo, Anheuser-Busch and Pernod Ricard are helping with the production of hand sanitisers. Diageo to enable the production of eight million bottles of hand sanitiser Distiller Diageo has pledged to make available 2 million liters of Grain Neutr...
24 March 2020
On 24 March, Deliveroo announced two new services that could help shoppers who are self-isolating due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The first is the delivery of an essentials range and the second is a collaboration with Marks & Spencer’s stores on BP forecourts. Customers can order M&S products from 120 franchised stores Customers will be able to order around 60 products from 120 Marks & S...
24 March 2020
On 23 rd March 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced further measures to contain Coronavirus through “social distancing” LINK . Most commercial, cultural and social premises have now been closed for a period of at least 3 weeks, after which the measures will be re-assessed. These measures are enforceable by law under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) ...
24 March 2020
As the foodservice supply sector seeks to pivot to meet the challenges of the radically altered reality of the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more wholesalers are seeking to shift capacity into supplying end-consumers.  As well as those now offering click & collect services, major operators such as Bidfood and JJ Foodservice are also offering home delivery, drawing on their extensive lo...
23 March 2020
In response to customer feedback, Sainsbury's has made changes to shopping arrangements to better fit the needs of distinct priority customer groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. In-store shopping hours amended NHS and social care workers will now be able to shop before other customers, from 0730 to 0800 every day from Monday to Saturday Elderly shoppers, disabled customers and their ...
23 March 2020
The situation for the UK foodservice industry has progressed rapidly since Friday when the government asked all pubs, restaurants, theatres and gyms to close.   Food-to-go store closures Over the weekend many of the country’s leading food-to-go operators, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Costa, Pret and Nando’s  have closed stores – for takeaway, delivery and drive thru as well as dine-in. ...
23 March 2020
Carrefour France has launched a new online service offering essential products kits delivery. The service is currently available in Paris only. Why is it launching such a service? Limit the spread of the virus by encouraging people to stay home and get groceries delivered Contribute to reducing the number of shoppers in-store and so improve employees’ health and safety Simplify ass...
23 March 2020
Tesco has launched a recruitment drive to ease the short term pressures on stores created by the Cononavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It will also pay a special bonus to reward permanent colleagues to thank them for their commitment. Fast track process to fill temporary posts Tesco hopes the recruitment drive will bring 20,000 new colleagues into the business over the next few weeks. They will ...
23 March 2020
Latest developments include Waitrose stores identifying ways to help their local communities with its new £1m community fund, and M&S dedicating the first hour of trading on specific days to NHS and emergency workers as well as older and vulnerable shoppers. New £1m Community Partnership Fund The John Lewis Partnership is making a £1m Community Partnership Fund available to be distribute...
23 March 2020
Carrefour France has launched a new online service offering essential products kits delivery. The service is currently available in Paris only. Why is it launching such a service? Limit the spread of the virus by encouraging people to stay home and get groceries delivered Contribute to reducing the number of shoppers in-store and so improve employees’ health and safety Simplify ass...
23 March 2020
We look at how retailers across Italy are implementing measures to ensure everyone has access to products as they respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We will continue to update this article with the latest measures. Esselunga Esselunga is committed to helping the community and has provided shoppers over 65 with free delivery until Easter. Meanwhile, the retailer is donating €2.5...
23 March 2020
We look at the actions and responses of suppliers across France as they look to support the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On Tuesday 17 March, France’s president Emmanuel Macron took the unprecedented decision of putting the country into complete lockdown to try to slow down the spread of the virus. It made France the third European country to take this step nationally, af...
23 March 2020
Food and grocery businesses across the supply chain are working closely with government to maintain availability of food and essentials, despite the challenges raised by Coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has already relaxed certain aspects of competition law in order to facilitate co-operation between retailers. Laws on vehicle operation and environmental protection have also been adjuste...
20 March 2020
As spending drops off in the out-of-home sector, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, UK foodservice wholesalers are looking to replace lost volume by offering online ordering services to end-consumers. These companies are seeking to tap into the huge demand flowing into the retail channel, where availability is often limited. Country Range members launch click & collect Several memb...
20 March 2020
Asda has announced plans to hire more than 5,000 people whose jobs have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Opportunities for foodservice and travel sector workers The retailer is working with more than 20 national companies in sectors affected by COVID-19, such as travel and foodservice, to offer shifts or secondments to colleagues without work. Asda colleagues are also being urged to ...
20 March 2020
On Wednesday 18 March we were invited to join a webinar organised by France-based Institut du Commerce (Trading Institute) and global consulting firm Bain & Company on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis management. During the webinar, Bain & Company shared learnings from previous crisis in China and South Korea, as well as the current developing situation in Italy to help French retailers and s...
20 March 2020
Here we bring you a short summary of the present impact of the disease on regional economic performance. The current situation As Europe becomes the focus of the worldwide pandemic and country after country implements its own measures, the role of grocery retailing shifts from a formidable commercial operation to supporting the wider population. Individual governments are working with the f...
20 March 2020
M&S has announced considerations of the impact of COVID-19 on its outlook for the next 12 months of trading, as well as longer-term impact on the business. Clothing & home and international business significantly impacted The retailer announced trading over the next 9-12 months in its clothing & home division, as well as the international businesses, is likely to be severely impacted. Whils...
20 March 2020
As demand in the foodservice channel collapses but demand in the food retail channel soars, the two sides of the food industry are now exploring ways in which foodservice suppliers and wholesalers can support retailers by switching supply into supermarkets and convenience stores. British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) launches ‘The Frozen Food Platform’ As a trade body with a broad membershi...
20 March 2020
Commentary from around the UK food and grocery industry, acknowledging the massive sales spikes seen in the sector in the last two weeks, have flagged how demand is driving footfall to big stores above all.  While online has seen unprecedented levels of ordering, big stores remain substantially the largest channel in the UK market by volume, and are proving the key destination for meeting shopper...
20 March 2020
Leading UK convenience retailer Co-op has announced it will create 5,000 new roles in a bid to provide temporary employment for workers being laid off in the hospitality industry.  The move, comes as the UK hospitality sector bears a significant impact from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency as customers avoid restaurants, pubs and cafes in line with government advice. Recruitment procedure ...
20 March 2020
From next week, the government will temporarily relax some elements of Competition Law to enable retailers to work together and share resources.  This announcement comes as the government confirmed that it would temporarily relax drivers’ hours rules and relax plastic bag charges for online deliveries. Sharing data and pooling resources The changes will enable retailers to share data on sto...
19 March 2020
Aldi will be shortening its opening hours to support its store teams during this time of increased demand. How will this work? Aldi's opening hours will change from Friday 20th March; Stores will close at 8pm Sunday hours will remain unchanged, except in Scotland where stores will close at 6pm Aldi has said; "This temporary change will be in place until further notice and w...
19 March 2020
Suppliers are reacting quickly to support health and medical services fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as helping provide shoppers with products that help them too. LVMH to produce hand sanitiser free of charge for hospitals Due to the shortage of hand sanitiser gel in France, LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault, has asked the group’s health and beauty factories to start producing h...
19 March 2020
UK retailers are taking immediate action to address the challenges created by the COVID-19 outbreak. In this article we round up the latest initiatives from the sector. Prioritising vulnerable customers in-stores Sainsbury's has set aside the first hour of trading in every supermarket for elderly and vulnerable customers. For all other customers, its supermarkets will open one hour later th...
19 March 2020
Due to higher demand than can be met, Ocado has announced it will temporarily suspend access to Ocado.com. Temporary suspension The retailer will suspend its service for a few days in order to make some changes in order to better serve customers, with a particular focus on the vulnerable and elderly. Ocado said existing customers with orders will still receive them, with deliveries to mo...
19 March 2020
In a letter to customers, Co-op’s CEO Steve Murrells has explained how the retailer is responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and the role the business will play in supporting customers and colleagues. Key points: Food stores Staff are working round the clock to keep food stores stocked, clean and safe Investigating options to make sure the most vulnerable get the foo...
19 March 2020
The impact the COVID-19 outbreak is having is unprecedented, with retailers and manufacturers around the world dealing with a sudden sharp increase in demand for goods. We know retailers are highly effective at dealing with significant changes in trade when given time to plan. However, time is a luxury the current situation has not afforded, and this is reflected in what’s being seen at the sh...
19 March 2020
We have all seen the media coverage of the stockpiling activity that has been taking place around the country as a result of the constantly evolving situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19). This activity is a very visible sign of the concern which shoppers are feeling however, these are not the only changes that are taking place. In this blog I will summarise five key changes we are seeing in sho...
19 March 2020
As government advice and consumer reaction to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in the UK changes rapidly, food-to-go operators are adapting. Here are the latest responses to the situation from the leading companies: McDonald's  From 5am today (19th March) all restaurants will close seating areas and temporarily move to being takeaway, Drive Thru and McDelivery only Toilets and h...
19 March 2020
The UK government has granted permission for pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways as part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Planning rules relaxed Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the outbreak to serve people having to stay at home.   The new planning measures will be introduced as soon as possible and will a...
18 March 2020
Restaurant and food-to-go operators in many countries around the world are having to adapt to new advice about social distancing in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Here is a summary of the latest actions some of these operators are taking: Focussing on delivery In China, the delivery sector has reportedly quadrupled its turnover in the last two months, according to a rep...
18 March 2020
Amazon has announced initiatives it will take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, whilst also supporting those directly and indirectly impacted by the virus. 100,000 new roles Amazon is creating 100,000 new full and part-time roles across its global business in its fulfilment centres and delivery network. This initiative aims to meet the increasing demand for Amazon’s products and servic...
18 March 2020
Iceland has announced it is encouraging stores to introduce priority shopping hours to allow the elderly and vulnmerable to shop when it's quieter, where possible. Meeting shoppers needs Priority hours for participating stores will be; Iceland: the first hour of each day The Food Warehouse: 8am - 9am each day  Managing director Richard Walker has said; "We are encouraging o...
18 March 2020
With ecommerce struggling to cope with high levels of demand, the physical store remains the main destination for many shoppers. Staff in stores are in direct contact with shoppers and so are at risk. It’s key to put these staff at the heart of your crisis management to protect them as they are paramount in providing food to people. Key points to consider In badly affected markets, su...
17 March 2020
How resilient and responsive is your supply chain?  If you didn’t know before, there’s a chance you will soon find out. There’s been a lot of talk about risk management with regards to Brexit, which seemed like enough of a challenge.  But now many nations around the world are facing the possibility of a COVID-19 (commonly referred to as coronavirus) epidemic, an event that, unlike Brexit, co...