Update: Public pressure has forced supermarkets into action! From Tesco and Sainsbury's in the UK, to Kroger, Walmart and Costco in the US, stores are opening early to protect their vulnerable shoppers.
But holdouts like Aldi, Lidl and Trader Joe's still haven't gotten the message! Trader Joe's has fallen far short of what’s needed, announcing a priority access line for senior, disabled and immunocompromised shoppers, rather than a designated extra morning hour for these groups to access food right after shelves have been stocked and cleaned. Aldi and Lidl have yet to announce any accessibility measures for stores outside Ireland. Let's keep up the pressure so we can all shop without risk!
Panicked shoppers are crowding into aisles, elbowing each other over the last loaf of bread or box of pasta. Meanwhile, the people most in need of essential supplies are shut out, for fear of picking up an infection in the frenzy.
That’s the scene at supermarkets across the world right now. But a few of them are doing something different.
As coronavirus panic buying gets worse, chains like Iceland in the UK, Whole Foods in the US, and Woolworths in Australia have begun opening early to allow seniors and other vulnerable customers access to clean stores and freshly restocked shelves.
Now more than ever, we need to look out for each other. So we’re calling on all supermarkets in countries affected by the coronavirus to implement the same policy.
With the rapid spread of the virus, older and immunocompromised people are being told to leave the house as little as possible.
Plentiful supplies of goods like pasta and tinned soup could be a lifeline for them, and for those with limited mobility who can’t make frequent supermarket trips. But not when venturing out exposes them to big crowds -- and potentially empty shelves.
Supermarkets are among the few companies profiting from the coronavirus. They should be taking extra care to protect the people most at risk, not just putting up ineffective signs telling everyone to stop panic buying.
It’s urgent they all follow the lead of stores like Iceland and Woolworths -- and they will, with enough public pressure. In just the last few weeks, people power has forced corporations to take unprecedented measures to prevent the vulnerable from becoming ill. Who would have thought, just a month ago, that Amazon and Uber would ever budge from their draconian sick leave policies? But people like you made them do it.
We’ve seen how this crisis can bring people together -- now let’s get our supermarkets to show some solidarity as well.