The corona crisis is shaking things up in European food retail: from an online boom to severe staff shortages, the same phenomena are popping up everywhere. An overview of the international state of affairs in food retail at this moment.
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The curtain may fall on more than 20,000 British shops, even after the confinement is lifted. The Centre for Retail Research even fears that a quarter of a million retail jobs will be lost for good.
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The lockdown in France also affects farmers and growers: French distributors have now vowed to stimulate local fresh food products, through advertising or even by adjusting their offer.
In several European countries, such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, consumers are (soon) less likely to need their PIN code if they pay contactless in shops. By raising the amount for which PIN confirmation is needed, the risk of contamination is reduced.
Danish retailer Bestseller is laying off 750 people, Swedish giant H&M fears it will have to cut tens of thousands of jobs due to the coronavirus crisis.
Belgian supermarket chains Delhaize and Colruyt are joining forces in order to supply hospital staff with grocery deliveries, which will be free of charge. They invite competitors to join the scheme and widen its scope.
A remarkable alliance in these remarkable times: Aldi and McDonald's have agreed the discounter can take over staff from restaurants the fastfood chain had to close due to measures to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
One of the worst hit industries will be fashion, a Moody's report says. As stores are forced to close, the spring collection can not be sold and will be out of fashion by the time stores can open again. Moreover, some chains will not have generated enough cash in order to buy the autumnal collections.
EuroCommerce, the branch organisation of the European retail and wholesale sector, wants non-food retailers to be added to the European Union list of the hardest-hit sectors. They may suffer terrible damages, the organisation says.
Normally, Belgian 'healthy fast food chain' Foodmaker, was to open five new restaurants in the upcoming months. Due to the corona crisis, however, those plans are falling apart and the company must first of all try to survive now.
Although stores have not yet been ordered to close during the coronavirus crisis, most major retailers in the United States are taking matters into their own hands. Measures vary from limiting opening hours to general closures.
During the current corona crisis, Amazon is only allowing the most necessary supplies into its American and European warehouses. The online retailer wants to keep space free for medical and urgent products.
Now that stores in Belgium and elsewhere are obliged by law to remain closed, retailers are looking at how they can compensate for the loss of sales. As part of this, they are looking at rental contracts, payment terms and other agreements with suppliers.
Now that 'normal' life is at a standstill, a real corona industry is emerging: distilleries, breweries and perfume makers are switching to the production of disinfectant alcohol. Even LVHM is replacing perfume bottles with hand gel.
Spanish fashion group Inditex (Zara) has had a good run in 2019, but is now bracing for the corona crisis. The fashion giant has set aside 287 million euros for future damages and has already closed 3,785 stores worldwide.
As of noon today, Belgium is entering a lockdown to safeguard its citizens against the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. All stores regarded as non-essential will have to close until (at least) 5 April.