COVID-19 latest news from around the world

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
FairPrice and Cold Storage in Singapore are setting up priority shopping hours for vulnerable groups to boost social distancing measures. First hour every Monday at all FairPrice stores The retailer has recently launched safe distancing measures, like floor markings at checkouts, to manage queues. It has also put a stop to food sampling activities for now too. It has also announced a Priori...
25 March 2020
Retailers in Thailand are responding quickly to shoppers’ concern at their stores, while looking after their employees. The broader context for Thailand Thailand reported its first COVID-19 case in January but had been recording low numbers in new infections. This started to change on 15 March as a few large clusters were identified in Bangkok and the number of cases increased. The Thai gov...
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
Woolworths Australia has announced that it is to delay the demerger of its Endeavour Drinks business until 2021. Uncertainty puts demarger on hold The business was meant to be demerged in-mid 2020. However, with financial markets struggling and the business being forced to close all hotels in the wake of forced shutdown due to Coronavirus, CEO Brad Banducci has been left with no option but ...
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...
25 March 2020
We look at the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the performance and operations of global suppliers. Unilever: supporting smaller suppliers Unilever will offer €500m of cash flow relief to support livelihoods across its extended value chain This includes early payment for its most vulnerable small and medium sized suppliers, to help them with financial liquidity The ...
25 March 2020
Target has outlined the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the business, including its sales performance and store development plans. Surge in sales and traffic Target started to see a shift in sales in the fourth week of February, with an increase in traffic and comparable store sales. Starting in mid-March, the surge in traffic and sales became stronger, concentrated in the ...
24 March 2020
In reaction to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic Australian retailers have started implementing a number of measures to ensure that everyone has access to the food and consumer goods products they need - we will continue to update this article with the latest measures... Ensuring social distancing in-store Woolworths has started installing transparent screens at its checkouts to ensure...
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
We look at the plans of major companies to recruit almost 1m new associates to support elevated in-store demand and the online delivery of groceries and meals. Instacart aiming to add 300,000 new gig workers Third-party on-demand delivery company, Instacart, aims to add 300,000 associates to support its platform in cities across the US over the next three months. This will more than double ...
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
From midnight tonight, Hong Kong will ban non-residents and transit arrivals from entering the city for 14 days in an effort to prevent a second wave of imported coronavirus cases. More stringent restrictions Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, said, “From midnight of Mar 25, all non-Hong Kong residents flying in from overseas will not be allowed into the city." All arrivals will be su...