Supermarkets are scrambling to provide remote shopping and home delivery services for the increasing number of people staying and working from home who do want to venture out or mix with groups of people however small.
The practice of online shopping for groceries is not yet well-established in Cyprus, a gap in the market which has been brought to the fore in recent days.
Store owners are trying to meet the need expressed by hundreds of shoppers to provide a service which will see goods chosen and delivered to their door.
Social media sites are awash with residents questioning if any Paphos stores currently have a facility to ensure that they don’t have to visit a store to buy their necessary items and also undertake delivery.
“I’m high risk and am self-isolating as I have chronic asthma, high blood pressure and other underlying health issues and I live on my own. I have been really concerned about how I can get food items delivered. I am so relieved that there are a couple of stores in Paphos that will let you order and then deliver,” a 69-year-old Paphos resident told the Cyprus Mail.
“Because of the situation with coronavirus, many people are afraid to leave their homes and perhaps get exposed, so it is important for us to try and help our customers,” Eleanor Papantoniou of Papantonious supermarkets told the Cyprus Mail in Friday.
The business now has nine stores in Cyprus, predominately n Paphos, which has five stores in the district, there are also three in Limassol and one in Nicosia.
Shopping and delivery is being done on an ad hoc basis, she said, with no formal routine in place as yet. However, shoppers may either email, contact the stores via their website contact page, or their dedicated Facebook page, or call the main number in the first instance.
“We can take orders over the telephone or email and deliver to peoples’ homes,” she said.
Orders should be kept simple and payment can be made on delivery by either cash, bank or credit card, Papantoniou added.
Not all of the stores in Paphos will be able to fulfil home delivery, she said, adding that other stores, would cover these needs.
In addition, by pre-arrangement, shopping may be left on customers doorsteps who are in high risk groups.
“We are very careful in the handling of all of our goods and foods not only because we are obligated too but also we want high standards for ourselves and our customers to help to prevent the spread of this virus.”
Ο Κήπος της Εδέμ (Garden of Eden) is also providing a similar service to customers in Paphos who may either email a shopping list or send it via their Facebook page. Deliveries are being undertaken by their drivers who are being kept very busy, a staff member informed the Cyprus Mail.
A Facebook enquiry about delivery garnered this swift response: “You can make a list here and we will deliver today. We can leave it outside and you can pay either cash or card on delivery. There is a minimum order of 20 euros and you can order anything you want.”
Shoppers are then contacted by telephone when their order is ready to confirm it, the total and delivery, the store added.
“I emailed my shopping order and sent it as a message on Facebook on Friday morning and early Friday afternoon it was delivered, free of charge, in a refrigerated van by a polite and cheerful driver who was wearing gloves and a mask. He left the shopping on the step. I left the money and he checked it was all there before leaving. I am very pleased I don’t have to leave my house as I have been worried,” a happy shopper told the Cyprus Mail.
Alphamega hypermarkets in Cyprus are also offering a shopping service, but only at their stores in Nicosia and Limassol, a staff member from the company’s marketing department informed the Cyprus Mail. She added that goods would be delivered either by their own vehicles or by taxi.
“Customers can call to the participating stores, we have been doing this since Monday, but I have no more information,” she said.
SupermarketCy seems to be the only established online supermarket offering shopping and delivery in this way, since 2011. All sorts of goods and products are available to choose from online.
They currently serve the districts of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Famagusta with the exception of some rural areas, however they noted that new areas are added daily and advised shoppers to check their distribution areas frequently.
But the company is currently being inundated with requests and is unable to fulfil any deliveries in Paphos until the end of the first week of April.
“We deliver to Paphos every Wednesday but unfortunately due to the extremely high demand these days for our service, it is not possible to serve you before Wednesday April 8. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation and we apologise for any inconvenience. For any other comments, questions, clarifications or help feel free to contact us, we will be happy to assist,” was the response
Tel: customer service : 26936600
Garden of Eden -(Ο ΚΗΠΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΔΕΜ) – Tel : 26600980, 26270905 26600813 www.edemgarden.com
SupermarketCy : Tel 22572102
Alphmega Hypermarkets : www.alphamega.com.cy/en/