Coronavirus’ impact on supermarkets will linger
Despite Environment Secretary George Eustice declaring U.K. supermarkets’ stocks “back to normal,” novel coronavirus’ ramifications for their supply is focussed not on product, but on distribution. Eustice said in the same announcement that “there was still not enough capacity to meet the high demand” for online deliveries, which previously forced Ocado to shut its online shop entirely and persists as shoppers able to do so prioritise online food service over going out to stores.
Eustice’s announcement echoes Tesco’s plea for shoppers to come in to supermarkets, both of which must be tempered: The only way for this to lift is for more people who are able to — safely, responsibly — visit supermarkets which — safely, responsibly — protect and pay their workers. [Metro]
And in other news...
- Last week was one of the most significant yet in charting COVID-19’s impact on the restaurant industry, with announcements, policy proposals, and visions of the future coming thick and fast. All of them focus on one thing: when, and how will restaurants reopen?
- Restaurateurs are sanguine about the benefits of the government’s latest protection: preventing landlords from winding up or evicting companies over unpaid rent. It removes the last resort, but doesn’t solve the problems that might lead to it.
- American burger juggernaut Shake Shack will reopen its Tottenham Court Road and Canary Wharf restaurants for delivery. Danny Meyer’s brand has been under fire in the USA for taking a $10 million loan designed to support small businesses; it has since returned it.
- A U.K. Hospitality survey highlights business’s struggles with insurers: 74 percent have claimed for COVID-19 business interruption; 1 percent have seen payouts. Insurers are unlikely to account for such interruption. [Big Hospitality]
- Good tweet:
15 bleach flavors ranked from "super scrumptious" to "killed me"— Soleil Ho (@hooleil) April 24, 2020