METRO leverages strengths to overcome epidemic
Face masks and disinfection products replaced gift boxes and Chinese liquors to become the best sellers at METRO stores nationwide during the just past Chinese New Year. Since the outbreak, the whole company has been mobilizing to join the battle against the COVID-19 and support communities through multi-pronged approaches.
Claude Sarrailh, president of METRO China, says that all 97 METRO stores in China have been running at full capacity over the past couple of weeks. “We immediately set up a special working team in the first place to lay out specific protection measures and contingency plan for ensuring the market supply of goods and necessities so as to provide our customers with a hygienic and safe shopping environment, as well as high-quality products and services.”
Facing the huge challenge of the unexpected and rapidly rising demand in food and daily necessities and the limited production and transportation capacity, METRO has spared no effort to leverage its strength in global sourcing and works very closely with the logistic service providers to ensure adequate market supply for the local residents. Since Chinese New Year, more than 14,000 tons of vegetables were brought to 60 cities in which METRO stores operate, up 50 percent from same period last year.
“There are always many uncertainties during the epidemic outbreak,” Sarrailh said. “However, one thing we are certain about is to try our best to take our responsibilities — to ensure the supply of food and daily necessities, and keep steady prices and high product quality as usual.”
While fulfilling its duty as a retailer, METRO is also carrying out the role of a responsible corporate citizen.
Together with its business partners, METRO has donated epidemic prevention products and food worth over 1 million yuan to Wuhan and other 40 cities in China. The company will continue to pay close attention to the needs of the front line and be ready to make more contributions.
Although the company’s B2C business was booming in the past weeks, its B2B sales were severely hit as most canteens at schools, factories, restaurants and offices were shut down since the outbreak.
Despite the short-term impact to its B2B business, METRO sees another bumper year for its business as a whole in China.
Recently, more and more factories are resuming work and restaurants are gradually reopening. Over 60 percent of METRO’s professional customers in Shanghai have received their first food delivery after a long break, and more are reaching out to METRO to make a delivery plan for the near future.
“We are very confident that with the joint efforts of the whole society, we will overcome the epidemic soon. We firmly believe that after this special period, we will deliver an even stronger performance,” Sarrailh said.