BUSINESS

Supermarkets playing catch-up

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Retail

Greek supermarkets are trying to handle the sudden jump in demand at their online stores through cooperations with courier companies, online food order and delivery platforms, and even Uber. This is in a period when their physical stores have also come under great pressure due to panic buying amid the coronavirus outbreak, especially last month.

The supermarket chains are trying to reverse the problems that emerged at their e-stores during the first few weeks that the lockdown restrictions were in force so as meet shoppers’ needs and create a more efficient model of operation for the future too, as it now seems likely that consumers will get used to buying their groceries online.

On Friday Mymarket announced it would be allowing consumers to do their shopping online and to collect the products from a bricks-and-mortar store on the day and at the time of their choice. This is the “click & collect” model which has applied for years in other categories of online commerce. Customers also have the option of having their shopping delivered to their car to avoid any contact with the physical store if they so wish. The service will be available in Attica, Thessaloniki, Patra, Ioannina, Larissa, Volos and Trikala.

The same chain has doubled the number of its delivery vehicles and increased staff for its online store, and has also struck agreements with courier company Speedex and ride-hailing company Uber for the delivery of its orders. In addition, it has started cooperating on a pilot basis with a leading online food delivery platform, which according to market sources is Wolt.

This follows last month’s agreement for cooperation between leading chain Sklavenitis and online food delivery platform efood.gr, allowing for deliveries on the same day to a large number of areas in Attica. Rival chain Kritikos has leased the services of a company with motorbikes so as to accelerate deliveries, serving customers in Athens, Glyfada, Voula, Melissia, Vrilissia, Penteli and Halandri, while more districts will follow.

The large growth of Greece’s e-supermarket sector actually started in 2019, when Convert Group data shared with Kathimerini show that sales jumped 37 percent from 2018.

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