Second wave mayhem - what will be missing from the shelves this time?

PANDEMIC

Mileage lines in front of supermarkets, shopping trolleys overflowing with tins and toilet paper - a fight to obtain the last delivery spot on online sites. The second wave of infections raises concerns that with the renewed containment measures these images linked to shopping already experienced last spring will also resurface. However, large retailers say they are ready and prepared to face any emergencies, among other things in a particularly challenging period due to the approaching holidays.

Second wave mayhem - what will be missing from the shelves this time?
Shopping in the second wave: will there be a lack of yeast and toilet paper? © CdT / Gabriele Putzu

Second wave mayhem - what will be missing from the shelves this time?

Shopping in the second wave: will there be a lack of yeast and toilet paper? © CdT / Gabriele Putzu

The epidemiological situation raises fears that excesses already experienced last spring will resurface. Let’s start with logistics as an example. The procurement process of large retailers (which includes suppliers, warehouses and transport) usually manages constant flows of goods with scheduled peaks based on the holidays. With the first wave, at a certain point it became problematic to find products such as toilet paper, yeast for pizza, penne rigate. ‘A situation due to the unjustified fear of being without goods - explains Lorenzo Emma, ​​director of the Migros Ticino Cooperative -. This spring saw a drastic and only partly expected increase in sales, for which solutions had to be improvised. The situation is now different: producers and large distributors have prepared themselves and customers have realized that the supply system works. In fact, in recent weeks there has been an increase in sales, but limited, and the supply system ensures the availability of the goods’. Also for Aldi Suisse the summer months have been used in a profitable way, as Marco Casserini, regional sales manager for Aldi Suisse Ticino explains: ‘In recent weeks we have strengthened the network of suppliers and warehouses, with additional stocks for items So in the event of any peaks in demand we can react earlier and we have more room to avoid delays’.

Also on the health front, you feel ready: the shops have maintained the plexigas at the checkout counters, the increased hygiene measures have been in place for months, the systems for the limitations of customers in the shop are functional or ready to be reintroduced, if new provisions should require it. All logistics problems already solved, and with organized solutions.

Migros: In recent weeks we have already registered a limited increase in sales: the goods are always available

A great deal of work, experts point out, was done at the staff level, which had to be strengthened, reorganized and protected. ‘Each company has its own plans for intervention and management of the risk of contagion in stores’ underlines Enzo Lucibello, president of the Ticino Distributors Association (DISTI) -. ‘We work in teams and try to limit the risks as much as possible. Fortunately, so far, despite contacts with the public, there have been no more cases of COVID-19 than the cantonal average’. However, the pandemic also had an effect on the way people shop. Meanwhile, the trolley that arrives at the checkout has changed: ‘Not so much for the preferences between fresh and frozen - explains Casserini and not even in the choice between more or less convenient brands do we notice big differences compared to before. Rather, to avoid contact with strangers, people shop less often, but buy more’. In addition, many have discovered digital channels, which were often not ready for strong spikes in demand. ‘Online orders have literally exploded - explains Emma for example -. We have therefore prepared ourselves with two online services for home deliveries in addition to LeShop (which will be sent to migros.ch by the end of the year): Amigos and Smood’.

In view of Christmas we advise customers to organize themselves in time, avoiding queues and gatherings

And finally, if already in the spring the big distributors had said that every day seemed like Christmas, one wonders: how will the next few weeks be characterized, now that Christmas is more and more upon us? ‘It is really difficult to make predictions, in the face of a situation that changes every moment - says Lucibello -. In reality, what is most worrying is the contemporary influx of so many people. We must try to avoid gatherings in all ways: this Christmas must be celebrated and it must not be sad. Apart from the fact that if, due to the contagions, the entrance to the shops were to be limited again, queuing outside in the cold would not be so pleasant. We will guarantee essential services and no one will risk finding empty shelves. However, people must try to organize themselves in time and avoid shopping at the last moment’.

©CdT.ch - Riproduzione riservata
Ultime notizie: OnTheSpot
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