In an effort to clear up a significant backup of online supermarket orders, the Economy Ministry has come to an agreement with the country’s largest supermarket chains to provide assistance that will enable the chains to make rapid deliveries of basic necessities. The ministry is insisting that the chains commit to delivering the packages within 72 hours of ordering, but Yisrael Hayom reported that they have told the ministry that a week is the best they can do.
Israelis who are reluctant to go to the supermarket because of concern over coronavirus infection have been inundating supermarkets with online orders – but because of logistics issues and a lack of personnel, supermarkets are unable to fill the orders. Many of the country’s largest chains, including Rami Levi and Yeinot Bitan – both of which are popular with the religious community – have not even been accepting orders because of a backlog in previous orders that have not yet been filled, Calaclist reported. Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, has been taking orders for delivery only after Pesach.
The new arrangement will see the supermarkets offer a package of basic needs – bread and flour (in the week before and during Pesach, matzah and matzah meal), potatoes, onions, milk, etc. – that households need in order to keep going. The packages will be offered at a set price with set amounts and types of products that cannot be changed.
Speaking to the newspaper, Rami Levy, owner of the eponymous supermarket chain, said that “we will begin this program next Sunday. The intention is to prevent households from running out of basic supplies for those who cannot get to the supermarket to do a more thorough shopping. We will be able to deliver the packages within 48 hours instead of a week. The package will include 55 basic products, including chicken, meat, vegetables, dry goods, dairy products, and other popular items.”
In a statement, Shufersal said that it will “offer customers a basic array of products that will provide quick and efficient delivery in order to greatly expand our ability to make deliveries. The deliveries will be made in a week or less.” The Yeinot Bitan chain said that it was still negotiating the matter with the Economy Ministry.