COVID-19 latest news from around the world

15 May 2020
We round up events from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Saudi Arabia sets out store regulations in a post-Covid environment As the curfew implemented for Coronavirus (COVID-19) is relaxed, stores and shopping malls in Saudi Arabia have been set strict new measures to enable their reopening. These include: Disinfection every 24 hours, with gloves and masks available for s...
15 May 2020
As part of its full year results announcement , South Africa-based Pick n Pay said the pandemic was expected to affect the margins and profitability in its 2021 financial year. It said the lockdown in its home market had led to the stopping of sales of key items including liquor, tobacco and clothing. Pandemic adding to existing operational pressures Retailers had already highlighted the...
15 May 2020
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance has announced it is to increase the rate of value added tax (VAT) to 15% from 1 July 2020 as it looks to respond to the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. VAT change comes relatively soon after introduction Saudi Arabia only introduced VAT in 2018 and so the tripling to 15% is expected to likely to affect consumer spending in the mediu...
14 May 2020
We look at how the retailer is using dark stores to increase the availability of its online grocery service to better support shoppers during the pandemic. Six stores supporting grocery delivery Whole Foods Market has converted six stores to focus on grocery delivery. This week it added its DePaul store in Chicago to an online-only model, following on from recent conversions in New York, Sa...
14 May 2020
McDonald’s have announced plans to gradually reopen their UK restaurants: 13 May - 15 sites in the South East of England opened for delivery only - drive-thrus and car parks remain closed 20 May - 30 more restaurants open including drive-thrus Early June - all drive-thrus open The food-to-go operator closed its UK stores on 23 March in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)...
14 May 2020
Morrisons has launched a new system to make top-up shopping more practical for basket shoppers. Separate lane for basket shoppers Stores will now have a separate lane for basket shoppers so that they will no longer need to share the same queue as shoppers using trolleys. Three Speedy Shopping customers will be invited in for every trolley shopper. Clear signage and marshalls will help custo...
14 May 2020
Following in the footsteps of major operators such as McDonalds, Greggs, Starbucks, Burger King and Pret , more national food-to-go chains have announced plans to start to serve customers again after closing sites in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Subway reopening 600 stores Subway has announced plans for a phased reopening of a quarter of its 2,400 stores in the UK ...
14 May 2020
Co-op has announced it will be helping schools across the UK to provide free meals to eligible pupils through a gift card scheme, after asking the Government to guarantee school reimbursement. Around 1.3m pupils are eligible for free school meals in the UK.  During the coronavirus crisis, if a school is closed, or the school catering team cannot provide meals, the Government is providing schoo...
13 May 2020
In an excusive interview with IGD, Sainsbury's Commercial Director Paul Mills-Hicks discusses how shopper behaviour has changed since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis and the outlook for the rest of 2020.  Below we highlight some of his key points. Preparing for post lockdown Mills-Hicks' “biggest worry” is whether customers will be as relaxed and accommodating if many lines are still not b...
13 May 2020
New developments for retailers in Kenya and Uganda. Uganda: Carrefour and Jumia partner for delivery Carrefour, operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the country, has partnered with Jumia through its Jumia Food app, to provide shoppers with a safe and convenient home delivery service in Kampala. Initially, there will be a limit on orders for key items, such as sugar, flour, and sanitisation pr...
13 May 2020
Amazon has expanded its Prime Now grocery delivery service through partnerships with Morrisons in the UK and DIA in Spain. Available across London and major UK cities Morrisons and Amazon announced they are expanding the Prime Now same-day delivery service for Prime members across London and more cities throughout the UK in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. By the end of M...
12 May 2020
Following the initial reopening of 10 London stores on 16 April , this week Pret reopened a further 71 stores across the UK for takeaway and delivery bringing the total number of stores open to 101. The food-to-go specialist also announced that it will begin selling retail coffee products for home delivery via Amazon from next Monday (18 May). Stores reopen nationwide The next wave of ...
12 May 2020
Asda has launched a new food box service targeted at vulnerable and shielded customers using the StarStock online platform. £30 food box for vulnerable shoppers Available through foodboxes.asda.com , Asda's new 'cupboard filler' food box typically contains 31 ambient lines that have been in high demand since the outbreak of the pandemic. Priced at £30 including delivery, the box includes ...
12 May 2020
On 11 May the lockdown implemented to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ended in France. We visited several stores to see how those that were closed are reopening and how the new safety measures are now part of the new normal. New rules and measures for shoppers’ safety To guarantee social distancing and provide a safe shopping environment many rules and solutions were implemented d...
12 May 2020
PepsiCo has launched two direct-to-consumer websites, PantryShop.com and Snacks.com, providing shoppers with access to a range of the company’s brands. Concept to execution in less than 30 days The two websites have been developed by PepsiCo’s in-house ecommerce team, moving from concept to execution in less than 30 days. The initiative was driven by the recent increase in at-home consumpti...
11 May 2020
Carrefour Spain has extended its collaboration with Glovo, the partnership has increased the service to nine extra cities. Separately, the retailer has developed its online channel to improve functionality and efficiency. Expanding its alliance with Glovo Carrefour Spain has expanded its alliance with Glovo to offer shoppers home delivery from Carrefour Express stores. Originally the partne...
11 May 2020
Variety discounter Home Bargains has expanded its online food box offering, with four options now available to shoppers. Catering to different missions The retailer has added a personal care, baking and confectionery box to its online offering. Source: Home Bargains   Essentials Food Box The retailer launched its essentials food box in late Ap...
11 May 2020
Market update: Grocery sales growth slows to 5.5% in April:  New data from Kantar  reveals a slowdown in grocery market growth from 20.6% in March to 5.5% over the four weeks to April 19th as consumers settle into life under lockdown   Multiples update:   Tesco acts to meet soaring potato demand: Tesco has agreed to take excess stock from potato supplier Branston that ...
07 May 2020
We review CVS Health’s Q1 performance and its role in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Retail same-stores sales up 9.0% Total net revenues increased 8.3% to $66.8bn in Q1, driven by higher volume in its Retail/LTC segment and pharmacy service along with membership growth in government products in health care benefits. Retail/LTC revenues were up 7.7%, with same-store sales u...
06 May 2020
We review Costco’s April performance as social-distancing measures impacted traffic and sales. Net sales fall 1.8% Costco’s net sales in April fell 1.8% to $11.4bn, while comparable stores sales fell 0.5%, excluding the impact of fuel and foreign currency movements. Comp sales were flat in the US, down 5.0% in Canada and up 2.0% in other international markets. The performance was impacted b...