COVID-19 latest news from around the world

24 March 2020
Major national convenience retailer, McColl’s has set out its approach to managing the rapidly evolving pandemic emergency, while ensuring its stores can stay open and meet essential needs of local communities. Jonathan Miller, Chief Executive, McColl’s commented: ‘ The health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is of paramount importance to us and informs all that we do. ...
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...
24 March 2020
The retailer launched the service on 21 March to support the global efforts to limit the impact of the virus. Sharing invaluable frontline experience The service is an upgrade of its Chinese-only medical consultation platform, launched a few days earlier on 17 March, which has received more than 50,000 consultation requests and more than 3.2m visitors. The upgraded version has the follow...
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
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 detail the latest initiatives from Canada’s leading food retailers in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Loblaw In response to a significant uptick in sales, with the retailer noting “extraordinary numbers of people in stores, long lines, and aisles empty of product,” Loblaw’s executive chairman, Galen Weston, has sought to reassure shoppers on several key issues The retailer is...
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
The Jack Ma and Alibaba foundations have stepped up their support for countries impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). Sending supplies across Asia During the week beginning 16 March, the foundations said they were preparing a joint donation of 2m masks, 150,000 test kits, 20,000 sets of protective gear and 20,000 face shields to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The founda...
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
We look at the actions some of the major retailers in the US have undertaken in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in four key areas; stores, supply chain, associate care and community support. Common actions Reduced operating hours to enable restocking and store cleaning, along with introduction of dedicated shopping periods for vulnerable shoppers Closed or limited servic...
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
We look at Walmart’s plan to recruit 150,000 temporary workers in the US and how it’s supporting its existing workforce with a special cash bonus. Fast-track recruitment process Following a significant surge in demand through both its stores and online grocery service, Walmart is planning to hire 150,000 associates to work in its stores, clubs, distribution centres and fulfillment centres. ...
20 March 2020
Due to significantly increased demand, Amazon has temporarily suspended its Prime Pantry grocery delivery service in the country. High order volumes Amazon Prime Pantry announced it is not accepting new orders due to high order volumes. The service enables Prime members to order products including food and beverages, alcohol, personal care and household items for delivery. Whilst Amazon sai...
20 March 2020
We look at how General Mills is taking learnings from Asia and flexing its approach as it responds to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Store traffic remains down c.60% in Asia As one of the first suppliers to report quarterly results amid the current Coronavirus pandemic, General Mills shared several insights into the impact on its performance. In China, around half of its Haagen-Dazs s...