As Spain Enters Lockdown, Retailers Gear Up For Challenges Ahead
Spain entered national lockdown this morning (16 March) in response to the coronavirus crisis, with the country's 47 million citizens forbidden from leaving their homes, except to buy food, medicine or other essentials.
With this in mind, some of country's leading retailers have outlined the steps they are taking to meet both consumer demand and the requirements of the Spanish government.
'Agility And Speed'
Market leader Mercadona issued a number of 'general recommendations' to shoppers, encouraging them to visit stores alone (rather than with family or children), to make purchases with 'agility and speed', and for elderly shoppers or those with chronic diseases to refrain from visiting stores.
It also said that supermarket capacity will be controlled in its outlets, to ensure that the preventative distance of one metre between each shopper is guaranteed, while those entering the store will also need to maintain a distance of one metre between them and the following shopper.
Card payments will also be preferred over cash, the retailer added.
'At the moment, and in accordance with the exceptional situation in which the country is immersed, Mercadona is adopting these exceptional measures to collaborate and face this crisis,' the retailer said in a statement.
'We ask our clients for maximum collaboration in the fulfilment of these measures.'
'Intensified' Online Shopping
Elsewhere, El Corte Inglés issued a statement ensuring shoppers that its departments offering food and basic necessities will remain open, while the retailer has 'intensified' its online shopping offering, enabling shoppers to pick up their groceries from the car park of shopping centres.
For those that do not have an internet connection, or are looking for personal advice, phone lines have also been set up to enable direct purchase, the retailer said.
'The El Corte Inglés Group will keep open all the food areas and essential products in the face of the health alert situation that the country is experiencing. and which has led to the closure of shops throughout the national territory, as declared by the authorities,' it said.
'This means operating around 300 commercial establishments, including all Supercor supermarkets, Hipercor hypermarkets, and the food and mass consumption areas of the El Corte Inglés centres.'
Catalonia-based supermarket group Caprabo said that it is undertaking a 'reinforced' cleaning regime in stores, with special emphasis on contact surfaces, while it has also increased the production capacity of its platforms to respond to 'massive demand' for certain products.
It has also invested into its Caprabocasa online supermarket channel to facilitate increased demand for goods ordered online.
'We appreciate the work and exceptional effort of all the teams in our stores who are facing these difficult moments with professionalism and know-how,' it said.
© 2020 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.