Independent retailers adopt measures to support senior shoppers and at-risk groups

March 21, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: COVID-19

As the COVID-19 outbreak expands around the globe, SPAR Partners recognise that people over the age of 60, as well as those with health issues, are particularly vulnerable to the consquences of infection. Being a food retailer integrated in the communities we serve, it’s no surprise to see the responsiveness by independent SPAR retailers as they step up to help senior shoppers and at-risk groups.

Throughout the UK, SPAR stores faced a huge spike on consumer demand, with the five wholesalers who supply them saying they have seen orders jump by up to 200% in ambient, fresh and frozen foods. This has led to independent retailers adopting various measures, including calling on shoppers to purchase only what they need and to consider the elderly whenever instore, respecting the social distancing in place.

SPAR in Northern Ireland took the decision together with all of its partners to restrict the number of items to be purchased, thereby ensuring sufficient stock for everyone.

In many stores around the globe, SPAR retailers have set aside a timeslot for pensioners to shop. Additionally, an increase in home delivery services, particularly for those ill at home or unwilling to visit supermarkets, has been welcomed by customers. Communicating these measures has been possible through very active social media channels, with independent retailers able to reach their target shoppers easily.

In addition to independent retailer initiatives, in many markets solutions such as online ordering of essential grocery boxes or increased home delivery solutions have been welcomed by customers. SPAR will continue to look at measures which support at-risk groups, depending on the target market and based on the local authority guidelines.

SPAR International

SPAR International unites and operates in partnership with independent retailers by working together to share global scale and expertise to enhance the competitiveness of its retail partners worldwide and build the SPAR brand internationally.

SPAR International is the world’s largest food retail voluntary chain with over 13,112 stores worldwide and global retail sales of €35.8 billion in 2018. The 2018 International SPAR Annual Report is available here.