Coronavirus: RedMart to limit orders and focus on essentials as online grocery orders surge

Staff at work at Singapore online grocery store RedMart. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - As online orders for groceries surge due to the coronavirus outbreak, RedMart will prioritise the sale of daily essentials such as milk powder and rice, and has made changes to its logistics to cater to the demand.

Among other measures, the online supermarket is limiting orders to 35 items and reducing its range of goods to focus on the essentials, which also include items such as flour and eggs.

In a letter sent to customers on Thursday morning (April 2), the e-grocer said the new updates would help "ensure that delivery slots remain available and consumers can receive their essentials in a timely manner".

RedMart is not taking orders on Thursday and Friday, and will resume taking orders on Saturday. The Straits Times understands that this is to give the company time to reboot its system to implement the new measures. Customers who have already placed their orders will receive them.

Lazada Singapore chief executive officer James Chang said that Lazada's e-grocer has been facing "extraordinary demand" since more people have been staying indoors and ordering groceries online.

He said: "We do hope to serve a larger community now and our data shows that consumers are buying essentials, such as rice, eggs and milk powder, so we're making timely changes on our system to cater to this precise demand at this time."

As part of the new measures, delivery slots will now be assigned based on address and be temporarily limited to specific days and times for each address.

The e-grocer will move from delivering to locations across Singapore each day to focusing on one area each day. This will help to optimise manpower and available delivery vehicles.

To increase efficiency, customers will also not be allowed to add more items once an order is made, and orders that exceed 100kg will be subject to cancellation.

Mr Chang said: "This change will help us in maximising our logistics, and allow each household to order twice a week. We seek the understanding of our customers during this time, as we continue to fine-tune our operations under the current landscape."

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