Online Grocers struggle to meet demands created by RMO in Malaysia

These are indeed unprecedented times in Malaysia and the world. And just like grocers in any country hit by the Covid-19 disease, Malaysian grocery chains are experiencing a tsunami of demand crashing against their websites. In Malaysia, the public has been encouraged by the government to go online to purchase their daily essentials after the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) was enforced in the country on 16 March. However, most of the online grocers right now are no longer able to take additional orders, in part due to difficulties related to the RMO itself.

For example, Tesco Malaysia posted on their official Instagram page yesterday that a number of their staff “need to respond to personal or family challenges connected with dealing with COVID-19”, clearly contributing to their issues with capacity. Their online has its next available delivery slot on 10 April, more than two weeks from today.

Tesco Malaysia supermarkets themselves are still open to members of the public who can visit their stores. Apart from maintaining social distancing and encouraging the use of credit cards and e-wallets, Tesco is also trying to encourage customers to use their Scan & Shop app. Customers can scan the barcode on the products as they shop, and then present it at the self-service counter for immediate payment (an assistant will check that the number of items in your trolley tallies with what is on the app). It was originally intended just to make shopping easier, but the supermarket notes that it also simplifies social distancing in their stores.

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As for demand, there has been increased purchases in toilet paper, cooking oil, rice, flour, UHT milk and hand soap. And just this week, to ensure as many people as possible get the items they need, Tesco is now limiting customers to no more than 3 items on every product line.

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