Amid an acute rise in orders in a climate of increasing COVID-19 cases and social distancing measures, Lazada Group SA is halting new grocery orders in Singapore for a time. The retailer’s RedMart eCommerce grocery unit will not accept new orders up to April 4, and will use the period to update the scope of available products, Bloomberg reported.
The city-state has stayed away from mandating a full lockdown on everyday life and commerce, instead opting to enact stricter rules and guidelines to limit activity and stem the spread. Lockdowns in adjacent Malaysia might have disrupted food supply into the city-state, but officials have asserted that the country won’t be out of essentials or food.
The government of Singapore had told the public on social media to buy groceries online instead of leaving the house, and it also implored more firms to require laborers to work remotely. RedMart, along with other platforms like Amazon’s Prime Now, has been busy during challenging economic times in the city-state.
The firms have been attempting to deal with rising demand as approximately 5.7 million individuals in the dense area opt for eCommerce grocery shopping. Insignia Ventures Founding Managing Partner Yinglan Tan said, per the report, “These companies now have to deal with a new situation where demand for essential items outpaces operational capacities.”
Tan continued, “Players that manage shorter supply chains may be more equipped to handle the stress.”
As reported in late February, RedMart has said it was experiencing “unprecedented demand” in Singapore. Lazada Singapore CEO James Chang said in a past report that shoppers “have been buying four to 10 times more food staples, 3.5 to five times more paper products, and two to six times more personal care and household cleaning supplies.”
Express delivery firm Ninja Van previously said it had seen almost triple the packaged volume for the pharmacy and health category compared to a prior month.