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Coronavirus Update

A.F. Blakemore


Covid-19 Update


Like many businesses in the UK, A.F. Blakemore has been closely monitoring the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak alongside any advice provided by the government and health authorities.

We are in unprecedented times.

The services we provide, the relationships we have with our trade partners and the health of our colleagues and customers are of the utmost importance to us, and as a company we are following official guidance with regards to the running of our business and services.

We have stepped up cleaning routines in stores and depots and are providing additional hygiene products such as hand wash and disposable gloves as well as customer notices to help reduce the risk of infection.

We have introduced flexible working, increased social distancing and basic health checks for staff where practical. The business is working alongside colleagues who have been identified as being at additional risk.

We have a critical role to play in supporting the communities we serve and would like to assure you that our business will continue to provide customers with the best possible service.

The company has action plans in place and is continuously reviewing them as the situation changes. We will endeavour to keep you informed of our plans should anything change to the way we are operating.

Our colleagues have been amazing. We really do appreciate everyone’s efforts in keeping the wheels turning throughout the business as we work hard to navigate the pandemic. Thank you for your support in delivering a great and vital service to our local communities.

Here are the actions we are taking to support our colleagues and customers:

Feeding the Nation

Under the Government guidelines, our teams are defined as key workers due to our role in ‘the processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food’.

We have shown our dedication to our stores, our communities and to other key workers by:

  • Maintaining great availability of product through effective management of our supply base via our trading and replenishment teams
  • Continuing to supply local authorities to ensure that vulnerable children and the children of key workers who are continuing to go to school are still receiving school dinners
  • Working collectively across divisions to move stock from Foodservice into our SPAR store estate to provide customers with the opportunity to buy larger pack sizes of core family staples such as pasta and rice
  • Establishing home deliveries to ensure that our vulnerable customers can still access fresh food delivered directly to their door
  • Enabling the fantastic members of NHS teams to access daily groceries via a scheme operated through the Royal Voluntary Service

Supporting Our Colleagues and Customers

We are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of infection for our colleagues and customers.

So far we have done the following:

  • Imposed social distancing guidelines in all stores, mandating where customers can stand to minimise risk of infection
  • Purchased perspex screens to protect store staff
  • Provided hand sanitiser to all staff
  • Provided an HR hotline for staff who have any concerns
  • Issued guidance on best-practice measures around stores
  • Initiated a maximum number of customers per store to maintain effective social distancing
  • Implemented strict hygiene procedures, including regular cleaning of key touchpoints
  • Encouraged customers to pay by contactless
  • Implemented home deliveries where available to enable vulnerable customers to still receive fresh deliveries
  • Provided logistics staff with gloves
  • Made hand sanitiser available in all depots and office locations
  • Provided drivers with antibacterial wipes for cabs
  • Issued social distancing advice to all depot and office colleagues
  • Located clean-down kits in every depot
  • Made thermometers available in all depots and offices
  • Made hand tissues available for all staff