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Europeans are working to #KeepCommerceRunning

Published March 30, 2020

Many retailers are facing the difficult reality of closing their physical stores during the coronavirus pandemic. But what about those in the grocery business who are facing the opposite? They’re experiencing an unexpected peak season—for them, the focus is on keeping their employees and customers safe while keeping their stores staffed...and stocked.


Protecting staff at checkouts with plexiglass screening

In Holland, Albert Heijn and Jumbo are placing plexiglass screens in front of their checkouts to protect their employees from physical contact with customers and vice versa. Over the next couple of days, all cash registers at 950 Albert Heijn and 670 Jumbo stores will have these “windows” in place. They’re also placing tape on the floors to remind customers to stand the recommended distance of 1.5 meters apart while queueing.

Across Europe, retailers are following suit. In the UK, for example, Lidl is joining Morrisons and Aldi in installing screens at checkouts to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.


Dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable consumers and medical staff

Several supermarkets in the UK are introducing special, dedicated shopping hours for pensioners, the vulnerable, NHS workers and paramedics; they’re also closing earlier to allow staff enough time to replenish shelves. To limit bulk buying, retailers like Iceland, Tesco or Sainsbury’s are enforcing a limit of items per shopper on products in store and online.


McDonald’s staff help fill shelves at Aldi in Germany

In Germany, McDonald’s and Aldi have formed an unusual partnership and are sharing their staff. Workers from the burger chain who have been affected by closings and restricted operations can be redeployed in Aldi stores on a temporary basis and can return to McDonald’s after the assignment.

In a joint press release, Nicolas de Lope, spokesman for the board of Aldi Nord, said, “Special times require special solutions. This form of cooperation has so far been unique for Aldi. We are convinced that we can overcome this crisis with unconventional solutions and strong cohesion.”


Redeploying labor to agriculture

To keep commerce and the economy running, Germany is considering measures to avoid labor shortages in harvest and other agriculture sectors caused by current travel restrictions. The government is also looking into setting incentives to encourage workers displaced from other industries to seek temporary jobs in agriculture.


In a time of uncertainty, count on NCR VOYIX

/content/ncr/us/en/homeNCR VOYIX is committed to helping retailers of all sizes navigate the many challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information, please contact NCR. 

Our retail solutions experts are in the trenches with our customers, working hard to help provide guidance, solutions and recommendations. 

You can find us at, have us call you back, call us in the U.S. at 1-800-CALL-NCR or call outside of the U.S. at 1-937-445-1936.


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