Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 

MarketScreener Homepage  >  News  >  Companies  >  All News

News : Companies
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors

Gulf retailers offer butler service, hygiene checks to ease coronavirus fears

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
03/17/2020 | 10:53am EDT
A delivery man rides his motorbike to deliver food orders for customers, as restaurants are closed, following the outbreak of coronavirus, in Riyadh

"Stay in, stay safe and we'll get you what you need" - delivery app Toters' message is among marketing campaigns flooding social media in the Gulf Arab region as governments restrict movement and urge social distancing over coronavirus fears.

Many online retailers and delivery apps are stressing their commitment to hygiene, including checking drivers' temperatures and supplying them with gloves and hand sanitizer, to reassure clients concerned about the spread of the virus.

"We have a campaign jumping on the trend 'khaleek fil beit' (stay at home), encouraging people to stay home by giving them the ability to order anything via a butler service," Toters' Saudi Arabia General Manager Rita Kerbaj told Reuters.

She said people are ordering everything from groceries and pharmaceuticals to masks, sanitizers and Starbucks coffee.

Competitor HungerStation has offered delivery discounts and asked customers to pay online. Food delivery start-up Zomato said it was launching "contactless delivery" for customers.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have ordered the closure of malls, restaurants, coffee shops and other public spaces to combat the virus. More than 1,000 infections and one death have been reported in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

In regional tourism and business hub the United Arab Emirates, restaurants remain open but there has been a rush on supermarkets. Bars and lounges were ordered to shut.

UAE-based developer and shopping mall operator Majid Al Futtaim has seen a 32% increase in transactions in its Carrefour online business in the first half of March, compared to the same period in February, according to a company statement to Reuters.

Order sizes have increased, particularly for cleaning products, healthy food and electronics, and six new "fulfilment centres" had opened across the Middle East in March to meet growing demand, the company said.

Dubai-based Careem -- which is owned by Uber -- is talking to authorities in its countries of operation about how its divisions can help.

Adeeb Warsi, managing director of its on-demand delivery unit Careen NOW, said there had been an uptick in non-food orders in recent days. "The way things are unfolding, we are working with different government entities ... and particular merchants and partners to be able to give options to our customers for basic daily essentials," he said.

Al Rajhi Capital said in a recent report that food retailers are likely to earn higher revenues, but others offering products like electronics and home goods may be hit due to supply chain issues and record "flattish to negative growth" in coming quarters.

Jarir Marketing, Saudi Arabia's largest listed retailer, said the closure of 14 of its 50 stores across the kingdom could cause sales to decline by around 25% in the second quarter if the government extends shutdowns beyond two weeks.

"We have a very good online platform but even if we grew it 300%, it would not make up for the expected impact if stores remain closed," chairman Muhammad al-Agil told Reuters.

(This story has been refiled to change attribution to company statement, not spokesman, in graphs 8 and 9)

By Marwa Rashad, Stephen Kalin and Davide Barbuscia

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHANGE INC. 2.30% 7570 End-of-day quote.160.32%
HUB CO., LTD. -0.62% 642 End-of-day quote.-38.39%
JARIR MARKETING COMPANY 1.25% 145.8 End-of-day quote.-11.96%
THE NEW HOME COMPANY INC. 0.63% 3.2 Delayed Quote.-31.33%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
Latest news "Companies"
11:13aAMAZON COM : homeless shelter boosts unique program for sick kids
11:01aBRIGHTVIEW LANDSCAPES : and Saluting Branches Partner to Care for America's Veterans' Cemeteries
10:37a$1BN CLONED ACCOUNT : We welcome house of reps investigations ― npa
10:36aMANCHESTER UNITED : Partizan belgrade pay up for sadiq umar
10:36aCourt jails two men for hacking into union bank's database to steal n2.5bn
09:49aPAKISTAN STOCK EXCHANGE : 'India's expansionist policies threatening peace in the region'
09:37aADAMS NATURAL RESOURCES FUND : Content Board inaugurates sectorial groups
09:37aHONDA MOTOR : Police warn vehicle owners
09:37aUnion Bank restates commitments to sustainability
09:37aCONOIL : to pay N1.39b dividend
Latest news "Companies"