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Coronavirus impact: How retailers are maintaining social distancing with customers

D-Mart has started handing out colour-coded coupons to customers to prevent crowding at the stores

March 24, 2020 / 08:56 AM IST
 
 
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As India continues to see the spread of novel Coronavirus infection, retail grocery outlets are taking measures at their stores to ensure social distancing among customers who are coming to buy the essential items.

Grocery stores such as D-Mart, Reliance Fresh, Future Group’s Big Bazaar and Easyday have found their ways to control crowds in their stores.

For instance, supermarket chain D-Mart has started handing out colour-coded coupons to customers to prevent crowding at the stores. Coupons that are made from white, green, and yellow chart papers are given to batches of 40 people.

D-Mart is allowing one batch of one colour to enter the store, at a time. Once that group leaves, the second batch enters.

“The idea of implementing the coupon system came through our internal core team discussions. We are cognizant of our responsibilities and are co-operating with all regulatory authorities across India to maintain Social Distance,” said Neville Noronha, Chief Executive Officer, Avenue Supermarts that runs D-Mart stores.

Reliance Fresh, the arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd is allowing only 10 customers at a time. Even when the customers are waiting outside in the queue a distance one metre is maintained among each customer.

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Similarly, Future Group-owned Easyday stores are allowing only four customers at a time.

Future Group’s Big Bazaar is also putting in similar restrictions.

In fact, temperature checks are also being done at stores such as Reliance Fresh and Big Bazaar.

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At the same time, these stores have aggressively augmented their supply chain processes to ensure stocks of essentials items and their replenishments are done across all its grocery stores.

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has spread across at least 170 countries. There have been at least 424 active reported cases of novel coronavirus in India.

The Union Health Ministry has said that 24 people have recovered so far, but nine have died. Many states, including Maharashtra and Delhi, have imposed Section 144.

Globally, there have been over 3.3 lakh confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least 14,500 people have died so far. Infections are rapidly rising in Italy, France, Iran, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

Himadri Buch
first published: Mar 24, 2020 08:30 am

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