Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest updates from Poland

Date : 27 March 2020

Amin Alkhatib

Senior Retail Analyst

In reaction to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Polish retailers and the government have started implementing several measures to slow the spread of infection.

Retailers supporting health workers…

Aldi has set aside staffed and self-service checkouts for health workers and public service employees only in all its stores. This will allow them to pay for their purchases without standing in a queue and spend more of their time with their family and to recover. Kaufland is providing priority checkouts to volunteers supporting vulnerable people with their grocery shopping, health workers, and other frontline public servants.

…and revising staff work rotas

The discounter also introduced a new work rota for its staff to include an additional 30-minute break during work hours, which covers all its staff on the shop floor, in office and in the warehouse. This is to protect the health of employees during the epidemic and will last until further notice.

Carrefour commits to no price hikes on its private label

Carrefour is not adjusting the prices on 150 of its private label products, with a focus on essential goods. It is monitoring shopper demands for goods and inflationary pressures to make sure its assortment adjust to their daily needs and prices remain close to pre-pandemic levels.

Retailers encourage contactless payments in-store…

Several retailers have implemented the increase on the limit for contactless card payments, which has risen to PLN100 (US$24.41) from PLN50 (US$12.20), following a request by the Ministry of Finance. This will allow faster service at the checkout and reduce the need to touch payment devices. Biedronka has already updated over 6,700 terminals with the new limit.

Lidl also increased the contactless payment limit too, and now is preparing for the launch of its Lidl Pay mobile payment system, which it is testing in over 200 stores. Shoppers will be able to pay for purchases with one scan and take advantage of discounts available to Lidl Plus users, while saving time and supporting their security through less exposure to devices.

…and prioritising the elderly shoppers and staff

Elderly people are being given priority in-store by creating special shopping hours for them, or dedicated checkouts to social distance them from other shoppers. Tesco is giving them special shopping hours every day in all its stores, from 9am to 10am, along with Biedronka, which is giving them priority for the first hour of stores’ opening and at the checkout. Lidl is exempting elderly staff from attending their shifts and will keep paying their salaries.

Allegro supporting small and medium enterprises with favourable trading

Pure online retailer, Allegro, will allow sellers to use free deliveries via its marketplace for a month and without additional conditions. In addition, it is extending the payment deadline for small businesses from 14 to 60 days, giving them a month without paying any commission, access to loans and suspended a recently announced fee increase. All of this will help sellers maintain their businesses and manage their cash flow better. It will also allow new companies looking to build an online presence a reduced cost for starting sales online.

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