Supermarkets move into PPE space as face mask demand manages to outstrip milk sales
Supermarkets Aldi and the Co-operative Group have introduced face mask ranges to their shelves as lockdown measures continue to be eased across the UK.
It comes following an update to government guidelines making it mandatory from the 15th of June for all users of public transport in England to wear a non-medical face mask – children under the age of two and those with respiratory problems.
Throughout the pandemic, the policy concerning face coverings has been controversial. Despite many countries adopting mandatory face coverings measures in April and May, the British government largely downplayed their effectiveness in spite of recommendations from the World Health Organisation.
Prime minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on the 10th May, however, marked a shift in the government’s face coverings guidance, advising individuals to wear coverings in enclosed public spaces.
On the 4th June, the government went a step further, confirming people travelling on public transport in England must wear face coverings, coinciding with the reopening of non-essential retail stores.
The change in government policy led to a surge in consumer demand for face coverings online, resulting in numerous high street and supermarket retailers launching their own non-medical face mask ranges in response.
On the 13th June, convenience retailer Co-op stated that its £3 face coverings range had enjoyed a spike in demand to become one of the fastest-selling items across its stores.
The company began selling the non-medical graded face coverings at the end of May in all of its 2,600 stores, with the range becoming one of the most in-demand items and even outselling Co-op’s milk, eggs and bread products following the government’s mandatory coverings announcement.
The company says it has now secured millions of more items of stock to meet demand and the range will shortly be available on delivery via selected Co-op stores on Deliveroo as well as, the retailer’s own online shop.
The retailer is currently selling a five-pack of disposable non-medical face covering, and a re-useable non-medical face covering, for £3 each.
Joseph Turner, Co-op Buying Manager, said: “As a community retailer with a store in every postal area, this move ensures our customers and members can get access to face coverings easily.
“We know it’s important to reserve valuable PPE for health and care workers so these are not suitable for medical use but have been designed with customers in mind and are just one way we can be careful, along with social distancing and washing our hands. Following the demand, we have secured more stock to ensure we can continue to serve the nation.”
Joining the face mask furore, Aldi last week also launched its range of ladies and men’s reusable fabric face masks (£4.99 for a pack of two) to its Specialbuys range.
The discount retailer’s face coverings range is among the cheapest on the market, signalling prices for face coverings will continue to be squeezed as more large-scale retailers move to introduce ranges to their shelves in the coming weeks.https://thiis.co.uk/supermarkets-move-into-ppe-space-as-face-mask-demand-manages-to-outstrip-milk-sales/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/aldi-face-masks.jpg?fit=900%2C500&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/aldi-face-masks.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Coronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Trade NewsNewsroomRetailer NewsTrade NewsAldi,bread,Co-op,coronavirus,COVID-19,eggs,face coverings,face masks,Government,milk,pandemic,PPE,public transport,specialbuy,supermarket,The Co-operative GroupSupermarkets Aldi and the Co-operative Group have introduced face mask ranges to their shelves as lockdown measures continue to be eased across the UK. It comes following an update to government guidelines making it mandatory from the 15th of June for all users of public transport in England to wear...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine