British grocery retailer Tesco has undertaken several multi-directional measures to serve the community amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. These range from increasing online delivery to serving vulnerable and isolated people as well as set up a pop-up store at the NHS Nightingale Hospital at Birmingham to provide healthcare workers round-the-clock access to food and essential goods. In addition, Tesco has pledged to offer one million free meal parcels to front line NHS workers.
“We have increased our online delivery slots by 145,000 (+20%) in the last two weeks with thousands more becoming available every day,” said Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis through a statement. “We know it’s still difficult to get an online delivery slot due to high demand, so we ask those who are able to safely come to stores to do so, to free up more slots for the more vulnerable.”
In the wake of increased demand, Tesco has hired 45,000 temporary executives to support its store network and distribution centres. This move is also partly driven by Tesco employees tested COVID-19 positive and thus not able to work.
“We have already confirmed that we will pay our vulnerable, pregnant and self-isolating colleagues from day one and we have introduced a 10% bonus for colleagues in stores, distribution centres and our call centre,” Lewis added. Starting April 5, “all our colleagues will get a 15% discount on all their Tesco shopping for the next four weeks as a further token of our appreciation.”
Lewis also confirmed that as stock levels becoming normal, Tesco has removed purchase limit on most products, except hand sanitisers, toilet roll and pasta.
Commenting on health and safety measures, Lewis stated, “We are introducing one-way aisles and a ‘one-in, one-out’ system in stores. We have maintained longer opening hours to minimise potential queuing. We have also now installed protective screens at the front and the back, around every checkout, so that we can open all of them and reduce the time you need to queue.”