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There isn’t a single industry that remains unaffected by COVID-19. The closure of non-essential shops on the 26th of March, coupled with strict social distancing measures to slow the spread of the virus, has naturally caused a surge in online purchases and home deliveries during the lockdown. This, in turn, has inevitably put significant strain on the logistics industry to fulfil orders, while still taking the necessary safety precautions, thus decreasing worker efficiency.
Supermarkets have been especially impacted. Previously, UK consumers would typically buy 60 to 65% of their food (measured by calories) at supermarkets, but with restaurants and cafes shut, shoppers have bought 85% to 95% of their food there instead. During the first few weeks of lockdown, an extra £1bn of food was reportedly being stowed in people’s cupboards.
The huge surge in demand has led to retail websites crashing or having to implement ticketing systems to cope with demand, which has had a knock-on effect on delays to delivery times. As it struggled to get to grips with the pandemic, retail giant Amazon told third-party sellers it would temporarily cease shipments of non-essential items to warehouses, so that the company could prioritise medical supplies and household goods. This interruption …
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