Larger retailers the Co-op, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer have all launched delivery services during the crisis to help get food to Islanders in isolation. Stephen Forrester, managing director of Marks & Spencer in Jersey and HR director for SandpiperCI, said the store was completing more than 480 deliveries a week. Morrisons are handling about 80 a day too, he added. Both firms are franchises under SandpiperCI.
The online delivery trade in general in Jersey has boomed since lockdown measures were introduced, with numerous restaurants and businesses adapting to survive. Food delivery site Food.je has seen a huge influx of new businesses on the site from gourmet restaurants, to pubs and supermarkets.
Wholesaler Cimandis are selling groceries through the site too.
Meanwhile, the Co-op said they were delivering between 40 and 80 food boxes a day through their hotline. Mr Forrester said SandpiperCI had struck a deal with Easenmyne to take on two drivers to support deliveries and with Classic Catering for one driver. The staff are still employed by their respective firms, but seconded to SandpiperCI while demand is high.
In the UK, online food shopping is commonplace. Statistics from last year show that 31% of women and around a quarter of men had purchased food or groceries online in the previous 12 months.
Asked if SandpiperCI would consider continuing online shopping after the pandemic eases, Mr Forrester said: ‘We are doing it at the moment to support the community. Obviously Jersey is different because it’s nine-by-five and there are stores in most parishes. Whether this continues beyond the pandemic is something we will review.’
Morrisons are selling pre-made veg or meat-eater food boxes for £36.50. They are designed to feed two people for up to a week and are aimed at ‘the vulnerable and those in isolation’.
Shoppers with M&S can choose what they order but must spend at least £75. For more information on deliveries, see the JEP’s Delivering for You section, which is published in most editions.