COVID-19 latest news from around the world

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...
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
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...
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
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 ...
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
All major French retailers are launching in-store and online initiatives dedicated to medical staff. On March 23 all retailers agreed to give priority access to medical staff at stores’ entrance and tills. Below are other actions launched by Carrefour France: Early access to stores, before opening hours, on a store-by-store basis Essential products kits are available for collection, a...
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
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
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 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. ...
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
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
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
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 authorities are encouraging people to stay at home, the demand for grocery home delivery is rising sharply. Growing online opportunities Since the beginning of the epidemic, online grocery retailers have seen a strong growth in their business: Big Basket: traffic and revenue doubled in less than two weeks. The average basket size increased by 20%. Many new users are placing ord...
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...