Steps we have taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak

By
April 27, 2020

Steps we have taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak

We want to keep you fully informed of everything we’re doing to protect you and our colleagues in response to the spread of Coronavirus.

We are staying close to the Government on the latest information and advice to ensure we are doing the right thing for both you and our colleagues.

Face coverings

On Friday 24th July, the Government’s new rules on face coverings are introduced in England and all customers will have to wear a face covering when they visit one of our stores.

We are grateful to our customers, who throughout the pandemic have embraced many new rules to help keep everyone safe. We are confident they will continue to show the same care and consideration for each other and our colleagues when visiting our stores in England after the new rules are introduced. This was our experience in Scotland, where mandatory face coverings in stores were introduced earlier this month. We would like to thank all of our customers in Scotland for supporting the new regulations and wearing face coverings while shopping with us.

Although face coverings are not mandatory in Wales, we would strongly recommend that customers visiting our stores wear one to help keep everyone safe. Similarly, the Northern Ireland Executive have encouraged the public to wear face coverings in shops, and we will be encouraging our customers in NI to do so.

To help our customers adjust to the new rules in England or just in case someone forgets to bring their own covering, packets of disposable masks are available in every store and can be opened and worn whilst shopping with us, before paying for these at the tills.

In addition, each store will have a small number of individual disposable masks available until 30th July free of charge, for customers who do not have their own covering and who are unable to purchase a pack of masks.

Although the latest guidance does not require retail colleagues to wear a face covering whilst at work, we support measures to keep colleagues and customers safe. We have implemented a number of measures in our stores to ensure they are a safe place to work, however, we recognise that some colleagues may feel safer if they are able to wear a face covering too. We would support and encourage all of our colleagues who are able to wear a face covering to do so and will provide these for them to use whilst at work.

Our CEO, Roger Burnley, has recorded a short video to explain what you can expect as a customer and a colleague when you visit our stores after 24th July.

Other measures to keep you and our colleagues safe

Keeping our customers and colleagues safe has been our priority throughout lockdown and this remains unchanged as social distancing measures are gradually eased.

As parts of the UK refine their safety measures and new changes are implemented, we continue to support these across our stores.

We take the safety of our customers and colleagues very seriously and have a number of hygiene measures in our stores, including the use of Perspex screens, sanitiser spray and we have increased cleaning in busy areas. If we need to take stronger measures due to localised ‘lockdowns’ we can quickly do this and will update the Asda store locator page with the opening hours of your nearest store.

Wherever possible we ask that you use cashless payments in our stores. The limit for contactless transactions has now increased to £45 and enables customers to easily make contactless payments for smaller amounts.

To help reduce contact in our stores we’ve also rolled out ‘Scan and Go’ mobile to all of our Supermarkets, Superstores and Supercentres, so you can use your own device to scan your Asda shopping and pack as you go. You can download this for yourself for free from your app store.

Store opening hours

Some of our stores are now open 24 hours. You can check your local store opening times on the Asda Store Locator here.

How we’re working to deliver online shopping

Demand for online shopping has increased and we’re working hard to make as many shopping slots available as we possibly can to help those that still need to stay at home. In areas where home shopping delivery slots are in high demand, we ask that customers consider placing a Click and Collect order instead. You can view all available Click and Collect slots when placing an order via Asda.com or the groceries app.

Asda’s Standard Click and Collect service is free, saving customers time and money. Customers are also able to use the Asda groceries app to check-in on arrival and have a colleague deliver their order to directly to their car boot for a contactless service.

How we’re looking after our colleagues

We have supported our colleagues who needed to self-isolate, and have ensured these colleagues receive full pay for their isolation period. This includes colleagues over the age of 70, or those who are pregnant and classed as vulnerable, as well as the carers of extremely vulnerable people. You can read more about this here.

As a thank you to our colleagues who did not need to self-isolate, we gave them an additional week's pay in June, in recognition of their extra efforts that protected the health of their colleagues who needed to step away during this time.

How we’re looking after our communities

We offered thousands of small care homes priority access to online delivery slots, to help them customers get the essentials they need for their residents. We also provided additional support for care homes by donating 250,000 medical grade face masks to help protect workers and residents.

We donated £5 million to our partners at FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help the country’s most vulnerable people during lockdown. In store donation trollies have also provided enough food for over 140,000 meals – and we thank our customers for their ongoing generosity to others during this time. In addition, our back of store food donation scheme has provided over 1.2million meals since March 1 – and means we've helped provide more than three million meals in total since the initiative began in August 2018.

We helped those unable to shop in our stores through the launch of a ‘volunteer shopping card’, providing a contact-free way to allow others to collect and pay for the weekly shop, without risking handing over a debit card or using cash. Learn more about how it works and what to do here.

And for those who aren't able to easily shop for others in our stores, we have launched a ‘food box’ service to help further support vulnerable customers. You can find out more about this and order online here.

How we’re looking after our suppliers

Throughout the pandemic, we have been working to support our wider community of suppliers through the impacts of COVID-19. Whether it’s paying our small suppliers immediately or working to support British farmers and growers on managing changes in demand, we have been helping businesses continue to operate in these unprecedented times.

During this time George at Asda has maintained its commitment to taking over 95% of orders as planned. We have long standing valued relationships with our suppliers and in places like Bangladesh we worked collaboratively with our suppliers to look at what products we could sell now, store for later in the year or rework fabrics into new designs. For the small number of products we have been unable to take from suppliers, we have agreed to pay a percentage of the order value within seven days, offering payment much quicker than standard industry terms and ensuring that suppliers had access to much needed cashflow to allow them to support workers during the pandemic. As factories begin to reopen we're working with our suppliers on new collections for the Autumn/Winter season.

Pharmacy & Optical Services

We launched a prescription delivery service for our extremely vulnerable customers across our 255 in-store pharmacies, to allow our colleagues to bring essential medication directly to your home. And for those who are able to get to one of our stores but would prefer a contactless service, we have launched ‘Call and Collect’, where Pharmacy customers can order their prescription over the phone and then collect their medication without coming into store.

Our opticians continue to offer optical services in our stores, but we ask that you call ahead of visiting us so we’re able to make an appointment. We now require slightly longer per appointment to make sure we have enough time to allow customers to try on and browse our range of frames, before thoroughly sanitising these.

Read a message from our CEO Roger Burnley here.

Share

RELATED STORIES