Covid-19 in UAE: Grocery stores working hard to meet online delivery orders
'Home delivery requests have gone up 10 to 15 times than the usual traffic'
Online orders have spiked up and supermarkets and hypermarkets are facing logistical challenges to keep up the increasing momentum. The delivery backlog has mounted for these firms as most residents are opting to order online while staying at home to adhere to the precautionary measures being taken to contain Covid-19.
V. Nandakumar, chief communications officer of the Lulu Group, said they usually use their own customised fleet of vehicles to deliver items. But, due to the current demand, they are working with courier logistics services and other companies with fleets and bikes to ensure quick deliveries. "We have already partnered with two major companies to handle deliveries over the next two weeks of curfew across Dubai," he said, adding that the company is also looking forward at introducing new options to serve customers better during this period.
"We are currently experiencing huge online traffic for both home delivery and click and collect services, wanting food and grocery items," said
Nandakumar. "Home delivery requests have gone up 10 to 15 times than the usual traffic. It is difficult to cope, but we are trying our best. The delivery waiting period for items is currently five to six days."
While most facilities have been shut in the country to curb the coronavirus spread, retail food outlets such as cooperative societies, supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies remain open 24/7 to serve the public, including the period of movement restrictions.
Kamal Vachani, group director of Almaya Group, said they try to deliver items ordered online or through the phone in about 90 minutes, especially for customers within the localities of their stores. "There is definitely an increase in online traffic for home deliveries. But, we are accustomed as we have increase delivery guys, vans and bikes. All the deliveries are up-to-date and our customers are satisfied," said Vachani.
"All our 50 supermarkets do home delivery from 7am to 6pm. Customers order through phone and online portals such as Instashop, Amazon and noon," he added.
Vachani noted that all their delivery staff wear gloves and masks and ensure social distancing during delivery. "The company is also keen on the hygiene of the staff at the supermarket and concerned about the safety of their customers. We are having sanitisers at the entrance and we ensure all customers enter with a mask and gloves," he said.
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