COVID-19 latest news from around the world

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
Beauty-products retailer, Sa Sa International, has posted its Q4 results. Group turnover fell 56.5% to HKD892.4m (US$115.1m). Multiples factors impacting turnover The significant decline in Group turnover was partly due to the closure of Sa Sa’s Singapore business. Sales to mainlanders in Hong Kong and Macau fell 80.8%, as consumer sentiment and travel restrictions following Coronavirus (CO...
16 April 2020
Coundown has launched its first darkstore in Auckland, helping the retailer meet the growing demand for ecommerce in the country's largest city. New centre will meet rapidly growing demand Even before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) surge in demand for online grocery deliveries, New Zealand was experiencing some rapid growth in the online channel. The new 8,800 sq m darkstore in Penrose will hel...
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...
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
US retail sales fell 8.7% in March, compared to a month earlier. We look at how this breaks down across different sectors and the outlook going forward. Non-food sales see significant drop Given the mandated stay-at-home measures and voluntary closures by most retailers, due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the decline in sales was expected. Year-on-year, retail sales fell 6.2%. A se...
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...
15 April 2020
Taiwan has been widely recognised to have, so far, contained the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) well. However, the risk of community transmissions remains high, likewise a second wave of infections could be caused by returning residents from other regions. We look at how businesses in Taiwan have responded to the pandemic. Looking after everyone Carrefour Taiwan is providing disposable...
15 April 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. Technological developments Retailers understand queuing outside and inside stores is increasing shoppers’ exposure to coronavirus. The Italian government has launche...
15 April 2020
In a letter to stakeholders, Starbucks provided an update on how COVID-19 has impacted its business and how it is responding, as well as sharing preliminary financial results ahead of its Q2 report on 28 April. McDonald’s has also released a statement ahead of its Q1 results, due for release on 30 April. For more on the company’s announcement, read more here . Starbucks’s focus Sinc...
15 April 2020
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expanding its SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme) online pilot to two more states: Florida and Idaho. Amazon and Walmart participating in all pilot states The pilot programme enables recipients of SNAP benefits, often referred to as food stamps, to purchase items through designated online retailers. The pilot is live in Alabama, Iowa...
15 April 2020
Loblaw is providing non-subscribers with temporary access to its exclusive online food content platform, PC Insiders Project. Subscription-based service Loblaw has temporarily unlocked the exclusive content site that it has developed for members of its PC Insiders initiative, a subscription-based service. Launched nationally in 2018, this provides members with access to a range of perks, in...
15 April 2020
In response to the high demand for its existing online grocery services in Quebec and British Columbia, Sobeys is accelerating the planned launch of its Voilà service in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Initial testing planned for end of April The Voilà by Sobeys service is being developed in partnership with UK-based Ocado and will be the retailer’s first ecommerce business in the Ontario m...
14 April 2020
Following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) three months ago, retailers in China have responded with urgency and empathy as the situation evolves - we will continue to update this article with the latest developments... w/e 12 April updates The country has lifted lockdown measures by end of March and is working return to a state approaching normalcy : Alibaba helping differ...
14 April 2020
We round up some of initiatives SPAR International’s partners have rolled out to limit the impact of COVID-19 on shoppers, staff and their operations. SPAR Albania SPAR Albania has introduced a home delivery solution to support shoppers in Tirana and Durrës Shoppers can order via WhatsApp, Viber or by telephone Shoppers can choose from a selection of three types of solution Supe...
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...
14 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...
14 April 2020
We look at some of the latest developments from Amazon in the US as it looks to address the challenges created by coronavirus. Waiting list for new customers Amazon has created a waiting list for new Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery and pickup customers. The retailer is temporarily asking customers to sign up for an invitation to use its online grocery delivery and pickup soluti...
09 April 2020
Canada’s leading food and drugstore retailer, Loblaw, has withdrawn its previous guidance for its financial performance in 2020 due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Surge in demand In an update on its response to the pandemic, the retailer outlined how it saw a surge in demand in March as shoppers stocked up on essential items while shifting away from discre...
09 April 2020
We recently wrote about some ways that supply chains have shown flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic .  Similarly, this article looks at supply chain flexibility but with a focus on resource optimisation. Human resource sharing arrangements While the use of automation in supply chains is becoming more widespread, supply chain operations remain largely dependent upon human labour. The C...