Coronavirus (COVID-19): how Taiwan has responded

Charles Chan
Senior Retail Analyst

Date : 15 April 2020

Taiwan has been widely recognised to have, so far, contained the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) well. However, the risk of community transmissions remains high, likewise a second wave of infections could be caused by returning residents from other regions. We look at how businesses in Taiwan have responded to the pandemic.

Looking after everyone

  • Carrefour Taiwan is providing disposable hygiene gloves for customers to choose fresh food in its stores
  • Many leading retailers have introduced practical measures that can help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), e.g. markings on the floor to guide shoppers for social distancing
  • Costco cancelled all food sampling services and temporarily closed its food courts. The wholesaler is sanitising shopping carts and door handles in its warehouses every hour

Meeting new demand

  • To maintain supply and prevent shoppers from stockpiling essentials, supermarket chains such as, Carrefour, A-Mart and RT Mart, placed purchase limits on select items. PX Mart, for example, restricted toilet paper to one pack per person
  • Both Taiwan Sugar Corporation (Taisugar, TSC) and Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation are manufacturing and distributing 75% disinfectant alcohol solutions to retail stores (e.g. 7-Eleven, PX Mart, FamilyMart, Carrefour, Wellcome, Hi-Life, OK mart) across the country
  • Some traditional hawker stalls have partnered food-delivery platforms, e.g. Uber Eats and foodpanda, so self-isolating consumers who wish to dine-in can still access food

Changing shopping patterns

  • The surge in demand for online shopping has seen businesses, e.g. friday shopping, quickly adapt their proposition. Some have found it particularly difficult to keep up with the spike in demand, but as peaks flatten, tactics to keep new shoppers will be necessary
  • 7-Eleven’s Night Market On-Line allows consumers to stay at home and conveniently order Taiwanese snacks and meals. The retailer is promoting the service on social media and using ‘online big sale(s)’ to engage new customers
  • 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, OK mart, Simple Mart and PX Mart are using stores as pick-up points for the government’s online order mask-rationing system. At FamilyMart, for example, shoppers can enjoy a large cup of Let’s Café coffee upon redemption


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