Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets will open special till points for pensioners and vulnerable people due to the coronavirus.
The Shoprite Group has also appealed to senior citizens to shop outside of peak travel times (early mornings and late afternoons) and when stores are quieter to minimise exposure.
“Strict hygiene and safety measures are in place to help protect customers as far as possible, ” it said in a statement on Thursday (19 March).
“Customers are asked to make use of the disinfectant spray bottles when entering stores and at till points. Sani wipes are also provided at store entrances for use on hands and trolley and basket handles.
The group also issued a public appeal not to stockpile and to buy only what is needed, so that others are not left without much-needed items.
Shoprite said it is working closely with supplier companies to continue to stock shelves as millions on the African continent rely on the group to have food items and basic necessities available.
“Unfortunately many consumers have not yet heeded to the call to refrain from stockpiling, therefore rationing the sale of certain products has become necessary,” it said.
“This includes toilet paper, tissues, wipes, liquid soap, hand sanitiser as well as some tinned foods, cereals, antiseptic disinfectant liquids, medicines and vitamins.”
Measures for employees
Shoprite said that numerous communication channels are being used to inform and educate all employees about how the virus can be stopped.
“These include the simple steps of hand-washing, no touching of the face, social distancing and more. Posters and Radio Retail (an in-store broadcast channel) is used to simultaneously share these messages with millions of customers.
“Procedures, information and reminders are shared regularly. These include the importance of strict hygiene and hand-washing procedures, as well as the clean-as-you-go principle (where surfaces are constantly cleaned and disinfected whilst working). It is continuously reinforced,” it said.
Shoprite said all employees have access to a 24-hour helpline which offers guidance and information on health, well-being and trauma to employees and their immediate families.
“Non-essential travel has been cancelled while employees have been requested to reconsider any leisure travel for the foreseeable future.
“Social distancing is being encouraged, with meetings taking place via Hangouts, video or teleconferencing and not in person.”