Big Bazaar
Big Bazaar

In an attempt to curb social gatherings, a precautionary measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus (CoVID-19), e-commerce giants and retail chains have begun offering door-to-door delivery of essentials.

The retail chain Big Bazaar began home delivery from Wednesday. Stores are delivering orders to homes within a 5-10 kilometre radius of their location.

Though there is no minimum order limit, stores are limiting quantities of items, to avoid running out of stock.

"There is no minimum order, however, there is a limit on the quantities ordered so that we don't run out," said a Big Bazaar employee.

"We are currently operating at 50 per cent staff strength. We have shut shop and initiated delivery services, so that people are not inconvenienced," the employee added.

Following suit, Amazon has also started delivering essential commodities. However it has mentioned on its site and app that delivery of luxury goods and products have been suspended until the lockdown is revoked.

"We are only delivering essentials. Other commodities, non-essentials, are presently barred from delivery" said an Amazon spokesperson.

Meanwhile, grocery delivery services like Grofers, Big Basket and Flipkart, have suspended services due to the pandemic. The three companies have closed their business, citing the well-being of their delivery executives.

Earlier, Grofers founder and CEO, Albinder Dhindsa tweeted, "Our warehouse in Faridabad was closed by law enforcement officials and essential services will be denied to 20,000+ households".

The sudden lockdown has resulted in e-commerce chains unable to replenish their stocks as freight services too have been called off.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Police have instructed their on-field personnel to facilitate movement of vehicles and persons providing essential services.

This came a day after complaints emerged that the police were not allowing delivery executives to do their job.

In a circular, the Director General of Police (Maharashtra), has asked service providers to carry their I-cards and/or display an 'essential commodity/service' placard on the vehicles.

If despite this, there is any inconvenience, it may be reported by calling100, which comes directly under the CP/SP, police said.

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Free Press Journal