As the country marks the one-year milestone since the first COVID-19 national restrictions were introduced; Tesco Ireland looks back on a year like no other. Whilst the pandemic has affected all industries, the impact on grocery retail has been extraordinary. In the last 12 months, over 13,000 Tesco colleagues have worked tirelessly to serve customers and communities across Ireland.
Since March, Tesco has worked hard to maintain a safe shopping environment for colleagues and customers:
- Social distancing and queue management technology introduced at all 151 stores nationwide
- 391 individual hand sanitiser units were installed with over 130,000 litres of hand sanitiser used to date, which is enough to fill 817 bathtubs
- Over 22,000 square meters of plexiglass screens were installed, enough to cover the Aviva stadium pitch three times over
- Over 750,000 face coverings have been provided to colleagues, to date
- Scan as you Shop technology was installed in 76 stores to support customers with an even more efficient shop, while enabling customers to manage their budget as they go
- Doubled grocery home shopping service and expanded Click and Collect by adding 11 new locations
As well as this, Tesco introduced dedicated shopping times for the over-65s, family carers and vulnerable people, and priority access for healthcare workers, care workers and emergency services personnel. Both of these initiatives remain in place today, one year on.
Tesco also supported the Government’s Community Call Initiative since it began. Volunteers are provided with priority access to the store and with free multi-shop trolley bags to aid with their shopping.
Throughout the course of the year, Tesco enforced its commitment to supporting local suppliers by:
- Shortening payment terms of over 200 suppliers, which has now been extended to February 2022
- Renewing its partnership with Country Crest under a €62.5million contract for the supply of potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes
- Increased its range of Irish artisan, farmhouse cheese to over 70 products in support for the Irish-made cheese sector
While the pandemic was changing the way customers could shop, Tesco recognised that charities and good causes were confronted with a greater demand for services while their fundraising campaigns were curtailed or paused indefinitely.
- In the last year, over €1 million has been donated to community groups nationwide through the Tesco Community Fund
- €150,000 was donated and shared between three national charities at the height of the pandemic – Alone, Age Action and Family Carers Ireland
- In August, €170,000 was raised in one week to help support the little heroes in CHI at Temple Street, Tesco’s charity partner
- Almost €500,000 worth of food was donated in addition to the regular donations to FoodCloud
Kari Daniels, CEO, Tesco Ireland said: “The year that has been has necessitated significant change at Tesco, both how our customers shop and how our colleagues serve.
We prioritised safety of our stores above all, protected availability to ensure customers could get what they needed and supported those who couldn’t come to store with home deliveries as well as helping those most in need in our communities.
I want to acknowledge and thank our 13,000 colleagues across Ireland for their dedication, hard work and support of each other whilst helping our customers and communities with great pride, showcasing first-hand that every little help makes a big difference."