Coronavirus (COVID-19): SPAR partners with RVS to support volunteer shopping scheme

Patrick Mitchell-Fox
Senior Retail Analyst

Date : 08 April 2020

SPAR stores in England are to be the first convenience retailers to partner with the Royal Voluntary Service on its NHS Volunteer Responders programme. This will enable volunteers to shop on behalf of vulnerable community members and make payments in store for them.

Service accessible in over 700 stores

The Volunteer Responders Programme has been put in place to support those referred to them as vulnerable by doctors, nurses, those working in local authorities and other professionals.  Volunteers then can support them via the GoodSam Responder app.  A key service offered is proxy shopping which can be undertaken in designated stores, which now include the company-owned estates of SPAR wholesalers:  AF Blakemore, Appleby Westward and James Hall, plus several independent SPAR retailers.

ID-based system enables payment

Using their ID, volunteers on the programme can take a shopping list to a participating SPAR store and know they can shop and pay on behalf of the vulnerable person.  Already available in over 700 SPAR stores, it is hoped to be able to extend the arrangement to many more SPAR stores across England, bringing assistance to thousands of people in need.

Sam Ward, Director of Services and Deputy CEO, The Royal Voluntary Service, commented:

‘We are incredibly grateful to SPAR stores for adjusting their systems to enable our volunteers to shop for vulnerable people in their community.  Many people will rely on shopping support from our NHS Volunteer Responders and this payment solution will work well for our volunteers.’

For more on Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • UK online retailers’ response: we share how UK online retailers are using online content, operations and supply chain to help colleagues and shoppers
  • For this week's UK market update click here
  • How IGD is working with the food and consumer goods industry during coronavirus: visit our dedicated webpage