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European Retailers Step Up Support For Ukraine Humanitarian Efforts

Retailers across Europe have announced support for humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine, amidst an escalating conflict in the country.

Earlier this week, EuroCommerce, which represents the retail and wholesale sectors in Europe, said that the bloc's businesses have pledged to do 'all they can' to assist Ukraine.

A number of retailers across Europe have also announced plans to stop purchasing Russian products, due to the growing conflict.

Here are some of the support initiatives underway at retailers across the continent.

Ahold Delhaize

In a statement on its website, Ahold Delhaize said that it 'strongly condemned this act of military aggression' by Russia, saying that it was working both 'globally and locally to support relief efforts.

It has pledged €1 million towards the Red Cross to support both those in Ukraine and those fleeing to neighbouring countries to escape the violence.

Kaufland Romania & Moldova

Kaufland's businesses in Romania and Moldova, together with he national network of food banks, are organising a collection of non-perishable food and hygiene products, the retailer's regional CEO, Marco Hößl, has said, with the retailer seeking to "alleviate the dread of this difficult situation".

Products will be collected in over 50 stores across the country in 15 different cities.

Rohlik Group

Online grocer Rohlik Group has announced a number of initiatives across its operations in Czechia, Austria, Germany, Hungary and Romania.

In Czechia, its Rohlik.cz business is donating 1% of its turnover generated between 24 and 28 February to support Ukrainian citizens affected by the war, while shoppers can also purchase a charity voucher.

Its Gurkerl.at business has donated the entire margin from all orders received on Friday, February 25 to people in need in Ukraine, around €100,000, while in Germany, Knuspr.de has launched an internal fundraising campaign, and is also supporting refugees with food and materials.

The group's Kifli.hu business has already launched a dedicated microsite where customers can buy food and other provisions for refugees, while Sezamo.ro has organised shuttles from the Ukraine border to Bucharest, for refugees seeking to flee the conflict.

Caprabo

Spanish retailer Caprabo is updating its checkouts to enable shoppers to make a donation to UNICEF, without needing to make a purchase.

The contributions will be used to support UNICEF's response on the ground to protect children and their families, the retailer said, with the humanitarian organisation operating a number of mobile units on the ground across Ukraine.

SPAR International

SPAR International has said that its 'primary objective' is to support its SPAR Ukraine operation with the procurement and delivery of essential supplies, 'as it continues to open and operate stores in the most challenging of circumstances'.

SPAR Ukraine, which has been a licensed member of SPAR International since 2001, operates 65 stores across the country.

"We support their spirit and stand in solidarity with all of our colleagues and their families in Ukraine," SPAR International managing director Tobias Wasmuht said in a post on LinkedIn.

"Despite the distance of 1500 km between Lutsk and Amsterdam, our Ukrainian colleagues are very close in our thoughts and this continues to drive us to do all we can to support and help them as they care for the people of Ukraine."

Musgrave Group

In Ireland, Musgrave Group has announced the launch of a major fundraising campaign across the island of Ireland to support people impacted by the crisis in Ukraine.

As part of the campaign Musgrave noted that it will immediately donate €250,000 to the Irish Red Cross and UNICEF, while shoppers at its SuperValu, Centra and Donnybrook Fair will be able to donate money at the checkout via a simple 'Tap To Donate' mechanism.

“Over the last number of days, we in Musgrave, along with our customers, colleagues and retailers have all been moved by the appalling crisis unfolding in Ukraine. We wanted to show our solidarity and to help in some practical way those impacted by these shocking and tragic events," commented Noel Keeley, CEO Musgrave Group.

dm-drogerie Markt

dm-drogerie markt said that it plans to contribute 'within the scope of our possibilities' to assist those that are forced to leave Ukraine, as well as work with aid organisations to provide support.

"In order to help people fleeing Ukraine, we will support organisations in the four neighbouring countries of Ukraine, i.e. in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, so that refugees can be cared for," commented chairman of the management board, Christoph Werner.

Eurocash Group

Polish wholesaler Eurocash Group, working alongside Caritas Polska, has donated more than 3,000 parcels of food for refugees, equating to around 30 tonnes of food.

The group has also mobilised its 'abc on wheels' mobile stores to border areas, to enable those feeling Ukraine to stock up on basic necessities.

Biedronka

Fellow Polish operator Biedronka has said that its stores located close to the Polish-Ukrainian border are set to slash prices, with bread prices reduced by up to 60% and prices of another 50 basic necessities cut by half.

"We can see exactly which products are needed the most now," said Maciej Łukowski, director of the purchasing department at Biedronka. "That is why we are lowering the prices of nearly 50 basic necessities, including baby food and bread."

Previously, Biedronka announced a grant of PLN 1,000 (€208) to all employees boasting Ukrainian citizenship, as a 'gesture of solidarity' to enable them to support their families. It also launched an extensive aid programme, allocating PLN 5 million to providing refugees from Ukraine with the necessary food, hygiene and cleaning products.

Coop Denmark

Coop Denmark announced that it had sent five trucks (pictured) carrying emergency supplies to Ukraine, including warm blankets, canned food, diapers and other food products.

The goods were collected from warehouses in Aalborg, Aarhus and Odense, with the retailer working with DSV to ensure delivery.

Salling Group

Fellow Danish retailer Salling Group is undertaking a fundraising initiative alongside charity Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, enabling shoppers at its Bilka, føtex, Netto and Salling department stores to make a donation at the checkout, or via online or text.

Salling Group itself donated DKK 500,000 (€67,000) to kickstart the initiative. The money raised will go towards those fleeing to Poland, where Salling Group's Netto Poland operation has already reduced the price of basic goods.

European Food Banks Federation

Elsewhere, the members of the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) have joined forces, and pledged to offer assistance to the Kyiv City Charity Foundation 'Food Bank', as well as food banks in neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

The board of directors of the European Food Banks Federation has already allocated €300,000 to provide immediate food aid and support.

"All 29 FEBA Members are strongly committed to solidarity in this dramatic situation," commented Jacques Vandenschrik, president of the European Food Banks Federation. "They will assist to the very best of their ability but are conscious that the present crisis may involve millions of persons in a very short time.

"Whilst the above funding is a concrete show of solidarity coordinated by FEBA, the need for much more help is evident to demonstrate that solidarity is not an empty word but more importantly to assist human beings in their unbearable sufferings".

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to  ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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