The Impact of Covid-19 on Supermarkets
The spread of coronavirus throughout the UK has lead to extensive social distancing measures being put in place across the nation. While this has caused many public spaces and workplaces to close, supermarkets have remained open so that people may still get their essential food and supplies. How has Covid-19 affected supermarkets' business, and how does social distancing for supermarkets work?
Social distancing within the supermarket
Social distancing in supermarkets is vital - being one of the most important suppliers during lockdown, supermarkets have enjoyed a massive footfall over the past 6 months. As such, they have needed to take special measures to keep all their customers separate. Barriers for crowd control have gone up in demand as supermarkets erect them around checkouts, and each aisle is painted with arrows clearly showing which direction to walk in when going through them.
Recently, the government has also required shoppers to wear masks when entering shops. Face masks, in case you are wondering, do make a noticeable impact on the spread of the virus. While wearing a face mask will not make you less likely to catch the disease, it will make you less likely to spread it - masks catch the infectious particles spread by speaking, breathing, and spitting, and make them far less likely to reach the person in front of you. However, it must be remembered that masks are an addition to social distancing, not a substitute for it.
The impacts on the business
How has coronavirus impacted the supermarkets in terms of their business? Some have said that supermarkets, and the wider grocery sector as a whole, have actually benefitted from the pandemic as more and more shoppers are buying their goods in greater quantities, so as to prepare for any potential shortages in the future. Online grocery shopping in particular has done well, as it eliminates the risk of contamination from other shoppers. This has put pressure on the industry, however; with online retailers receiving more orders, they have had to expand operations through buying new fulfilment centres and far more stock than they normally would.
It is important to realise that the long-term effects of the pandemic are yet to be seen, and that Covid-19, while seemingly winding down, is not over yet. We will not know how the virus affects grocery retail and supermarkets until it has gone and the reports come out, however we can examine current trends and see how well (or badly) retailers are doing. Overall, the trend appears to be positive which is good news for a nation endangered by disease.