Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest updates from Spain

Lucy Bellotti
Retail Analyst

Date : 20 April 2020

We look at how retailers across Spain are implementing measures to ensure everyone has access to products as they respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We will continue to update this article with the latest measures.


Mercadona has outlined how it will increase awareness and safety by communicating with shoppers, the group’s recommendations are:  

  • No family or group shopping, only one person per household should make the trip
  • Card payments are being encouraged
  • The retailer strongly suggests shoppers space out store visits and do not just visit them at opening times. Mercadona has said it is committed to restocking shelves to serve shoppers all day
  • Shoppers are being encouraged, once in-store, to be efficient and not to browse
  • Do not buy unnecessary products or stockpile
  • Respect the stores’ implemented measures to keep staff and other shoppers safe

Mercadona has applied restrictions on the number of shoppers it allows in stores and is implementing social distancing rules at all its stores:

  • Social distancing is being controlled outside stores by introducing one metre floor markings to allow shoppers to queue safely. Furthermore, disposable gloves are provided to all shoppers upon entry and are disposed of as they leave
  • In-store, social distancing is being aided by floor markings at checkouts. Meanwhile, hand sanitiser is available for all employees and shoppers. The group is also installing protective screens at checkouts to increase the safety of its employees and shoppers

Mercadona’s current opening hours are 9am-7pm and will be constantly reviewed due to changing circumstances.

El Corte Inglés

El Corte Inglés is offering health professionals priority service to essential food products. The retailer has provided a special telephone number and email address, to provide an efficient and fast delivery service to key workers.

The retailer is providing extra bedding to hospitals to care for patients and has reinforced its Click and Car service to allow shoppers to collect purchases from car parks, supporting the Spanish government’s self-isolation guidelines.

Carrefour Spain

Carrefour donated €3m to help isolated and vulnerable people. Meanwhile, the group closed its non-food areas in its stores, with an exception of telecommunication equipment and stationery. This closure enables Carrefour employees to restock food categories, beverages, pharmacy and hygiene products and animal food.

Source:  Twitter (@Carlosonretail)

Moreover, Carrefour Spain has reserved the hour between 9.00 and 10.00 for shoppers over 65. In addition, phone deliveries can be made by over 65’s as Carrefour acknowledges some shoppers do not have access to devices to enable them to use its online store.


Alcampo strongly advises using cashless methods, including its app Scan You, to limit contact between staff and shoppers. Meanwhile, posters are being used to highlight measures that are strongly recommended:

  • Continue washing hands well
  • Purchasing products quickly and efficiently
  • Keep a constant one metre distance between other shoppers
  • Avoid cash payments
  • Use disposable gloves

Alcampo has launched a new service that allows shoppers to purchase household and technological appliances through WhatsApp. The initiative connects shoppers directly to the buyer through messenger, voice call or video call. Once the purchase has been confirmed shoppers can have the products delivered within 48 to 72 hours.

The retailer has activated the initiative in approximately 20 hypermarkets, with phone numbers provided on its website. Separately, all payments will be made by card, no cash payments will be accepted.

Source: Alcampo

Lidl Espana

Lidl Espana has increased the minimum distance it recommends shoppers to maintain between each other from one metre to 1.5 metres. Furthermore, the retailer has introduced the following measures to increase safety and awareness:

  • The group has placed a maximum capacity of 50 shoppers in-store at any one time
  • Only allowing one shopper per household to purchase essential food products
  • The retailer has created separation lines, to allow shoppers to queue at a safe one metre distance
  • Store opening hours are between 9am-8pm
  • It has currently suspended the return of products
  • The entrance of each store supplies shoppers with disinfectant and wipes
  • Disposable gloves should be worn when purchasing loose items such as fruit, vegetables, bread and pastries


Eroski announced it is helping smaller producers and agriculture cooperatives, which have lost their usual sales. The initiative helps support producers and agriculture cooperatives by marketing their products. Products have started to arrive on shelves already, but more are scheduled to be added in the short term.

Eroski has increased its communication with shoppers by introducing an updated chart of its peak store times (figures taken from the week commencing 23 March 2020). Providing data enables shoppers to visit stores during off-peak times and help them reduce the chances of being exposed to the coronavirus. The retailer encourages shoppers to visit stores past 14.00, during off-peak hours to increase staff and shopper safety.  

Source:  Eroski

The group has implemented measures across all its hypermarkets and supermarkets and has highlighted its priority shoppers as; over 65s, disabled, pregnant and healthcare professionals. Other key measures and initiatives include:

  • The retailer has implemented new opening times of 9pm-8pm (8.30am-8pm in the Balearic Islands)
  • The first shopping hour is dedicated to priority shoppers
  • The group has installed protective screen at checkouts
  • Gloves and other disinfectant products are available to all employees and shoppers

Source: Eroski


DIA has partnered with Glovo. The collaboration will allow 500 DIA stores to operate with Glovo. The group plans to increase its delivery capacity and enable shoppers to receive products in less time. Meanwhile, the retailer is expanding its online capacity by transforming eight stores to focus solely on the preparation and delivery of ecommerce orders.

DIA has employed 1,000 new staff members to meet the current demand. Both groups have increased the hygiene measures taken and deliveries will made at a two-metre distance. Moreover, delivery drivers are responsible for signing orders on behalf of the shoppers to eliminate contact.  

The retailer announced it has reduced its opening hours to 10am-8pm to protect the health of employees and shoppers. The group has announced several measures to increase safety and awareness in-stores:

  • Disinfectant gel and wipes are available to shoppers and employees
  • Enforcing the minimum distance of one metre in-stores
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the stores happens daily
  • Limited shoppers in stores
  • Delivery drivers must wear gloves and leave groceries at the door, maintaining a one metre distance

Source: DIA Group

SPAR Gran Canaria

SPAR Gran Canaria announced its home delivery service has been amended to minimise direct contact, keeping a minimum one metre distance, increasing cleaning and disinfecting procedures in all stores.

The retailer has donated essential food products to food banks, such as Las Palmas food bank, across the island. It has delivered to Diocesana products including fresh fruit, non-perishable food and water. Caritas Diocesana is an organisation that distributes to homeless people at communal kitchens and elderly residents.

SPAR Gran Canaria has also donated to the Spanish Red Cross. Separately, it launched an initiative to provide the Red Cross with aid vouchers, that will be allocated to vulnerable families and can be used in 189 SPAR Gran Canaria stores.

Other retail initiatives

  • On 20 March 2020, Condis reserved 9am-10am for shoppers over 65, this enables the retailer to provide suitable levels of security and care 
  • Caprabo identified many local producers have lost their marketing channels since the beginning of the outbreak. Therefore, the group has offered to market local suppliers’ products in 300 Caprabo stores

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