Mar 19, 2020
In unprecedented times the Shoprite Group is working around the clock to feed the nation and get basic household items through its supply chain onto store shelves. It will continue to do so until the coronavirus is stopped.
It is also taking decisive hygiene and safety measures while actively engaging with its employees, customers and communities to adhere to the simple steps that will help to stop the spread of the virus.
These are some of the steps taken to protect the well-being of its employees, customers and communities:
Various messages on the importance of hygiene and safety are shared ongoingly, with the emphasis on prevention. Numerous communication channels are used to inform and educate all about how the virus can be stopped.
These include the simple steps of hand-washing, no touching of the face, social distancing and more. Posters and Radio Retail (an in-store broadcast channel) is used to simultaneously share these messages with millions of customers.
Procedures, information and reminders are shared regularly. These include the importance of strict hygiene and hand-washing procedures, as well as the clean-as-you-go principle (where surfaces are constantly cleaned and disinfected whilst working). It is continuously reinforced.
All employees have access to a 24-hour helpline which offers guidance and information on health, well-being and trauma to employees and their immediate families.
Non-essential travel has been cancelled while employees have been requested to reconsider any leisure travel for the foreseeable future.
Social distancing is being encouraged, with meetings taking place via Hangouts, video or tele conferencing and not in person.
Strict hygiene and safety measures are in place to help protect customers as far as possible.
Customers are asked to make use of the disinfectant spray bottles when entering stores and at till points. Sani wipes are also provided at store entrances for use on hands and trolley and basket handles.
The Group also asks its customers to follow the simple steps of hand-washing, no touching of the face, social distancing and more to help stop the virus.
A public appeal was issued not to stockpile and to buy only what is needed, so that others are not left without much-needed items. It is working closely with supplier companies to continue to stock shelves as millions on the African continent rely on the Group to have food items and basic necessities available.
Unfortunately many consumers have not yet heeded to the call to refrain from stockpiling, therefore rationing the sale of certain products has become necessary. This includes toilet paper, tissues, wipes, liquid soap, hand sanitizer as well as some tinned foods, cereals, antiseptic disinfectant liquids, medicines and vitamins.
Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets have extensive shopping hours to accommodate its broad customer base. The Group appeals to senior citizens to shop outside of peak travel times (early mornings and late afternoons) and when stores are quieter to minimise exposure.
Special till points have been allocated to prioritise speedy checkouts for elderly and vulnerable people including those with disabilities.
As attention remains focused on curtailing the spread of the coronavirus, the Group continues to reach out to the communities in which it trades.
Donations to its Act for Change Fund will go to the Gift of the Givers’ fundraising campaign in support of medical staff at the frontline of the outbreak. Customers can contribute to the Fund by informing cashiers that they wish to add a donation to their purchase at the till point in any Shoprite or Checkers store countrywide.
All 19 Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchens continue to feed communities throughout South Africa by dropping off nutritious meals of fortified soup and bread at beneficiary organisations. Staff are implementing the strictest hygiene standards.
Surplus food donations to registered beneficiary organisations are also continuing, and stores are adhering to strict guidelines to reduce the risk of contact when food is collected.
Read more about the Group’s response to the Coronavirus here.