Coronavirus (COVID-19): responses from the Nordics

Harriet Cohen
Senior Retail Analyst

Date : 06 April 2020

To protect employees and consumers from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), retailers in Denmark, Sweden and Norway have added dedicated hygiene lines and plexiglass to the checkouts.

Denmark: hygiene lines and new initiative for suppliers

Coop and Salling Group have introduced distancing measures with “hygiene lines”. These are tape markings on the floor of the checkout lines that work to remind shoppers to keep a safe distance from one another. The markings are placed one and a half metres apart, which make it clear how far shoppers should stand from one another to reduce the spread and risk of infection.

In further measures, Salling Group has intensified its cleaning by disinfecting surfaces, shopping carts and baskets. Separately, Coop has stated that there is no danger in shopping at supermarkets, however shoppers should remember to keep away from each other.

Source: Frikopenskap

Furthermore, Salling Group will release DKK500m (USD $75m) to small and medium-sized suppliers. The initiative is intended to ensure that suppliers receive immediate cash to improve their liquidity and manage any disruption caused by COVID-19.

Sweden and Norway: plexiglass installation

Meanwhile, to prevent the spread of the virus, Swedish retailers Willys and ICA have installed plexiglass panels in all stores around the country. Willys has also added tape marking to the floors of checkout lines to remind shoppers to keep a safe distance apart.

In Norway, grocery retailers Reitan Group, Coop Norway and NorgesGruppen chains have also added plexiglass to the checkout lines to reduce the risk of infection.

Source: Frikopenskap

Norway: NorgesGruppen’s initiatives

NorgesGruppen has implemented initiatives to help local producers via its MENY banner:

  • It will reduce food prices on over 3,000 local products and give 10% of the profits back to the suppliers. The promotion is valid on locally produced products such as cheeses, meats and jams, among others. These are specially marked with a 'Food Treasure' badge to raise visibility
  • The grocery industry normally accounts for just under 50% of sales for local suppliers, however with the closures of hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions, turnover has dropped up to 60-70%. MENY will ensure it sources products from local suppliers to ensure that none go bankrupt

Meanwhile, the KIWI banner has increased its hygienic measures by:

  • Recommending shoppers to keep a minimum distance of one metre from each other
  • Encouraging shoppers to pay by card
  • Sinks and hand sanitiser are added near ATMs for hand washing and disinfecting
  • Advised against stockpiling and will limit the number of items purchased to ensure there is enough for everyone

Finland: adoption of online grocery

S Group has mentioned an increase of visitors onto its online platform, Foodie.fi, adding pressure to the fulfilment of orders. It has recruited additional employees to address the delivery issues caused by fears over the spread of COVID-19, with consumers preferring to shop from home.

The group plans to unveil 12 new ecommerce platforms over the next month to meet the increase in demand and achieve faster order fulfilment.

Looking for more insight?

  • Get the latest insights on Coronavirus (COVID-19) to help your business understand what the food and grocery industry is doing around the world to address the evolving pandemic.
  • To find out how IGD is working with the food and consumer goods industry during coronavirus, visit our dedicated webpage