COVID-19 Response


The multifaceted impacts of the pandemic on our employees, customers, local communities, and business created an imperative of swift, agile, and innovative responses from us as a Group. We are proud to report that our people’s dedication and talent has excelled in our fight against the virus. This has enabled us to live up to our duty of care to our employees and customers, ensure business continuity through our digital transformation, and care for our local communities leaving us well-placed to be resilient to future shocks. 

From the outset of the pandemic, we understood that we had a duty of care to protect our people and customers’ health and safety.

To protect our people’s emotional wellbeing, in addition to our HOPE
program (know more) we developed our ‘Wellbeing in times of crisis’
program, which was delivered through a series of virtual talks and webinars.

The objective of the program was to empower individuals with the skills and awareness required to cope with the multitude of stressors that our people might be facing in their personal and professional lives. Additionally, our leaders were provided with training in the stewardship that would be required of them through the unprecedented situation.

Throughout the year, several webinars were organized from our Group President and other leaders to answer to the uncertainty of the situation. The sessions consistent of open and honest discussions on our business performance, employee’s prospects and restructuring plans.

We also identified an urgent need to ensure robust procedures to protect our people and customers from transmission of the virus. In our stores a stringent set of 12 protocols (know more) kept our frontline staff, and our customers safe. Furthermore, through the issuance of a permanent work-from-home policy facilitated by improvements in our IT network security (know more), enabled our office-based people to work in the safety of their homes. Our warehouse heroes were issued with care packages to protect them and their families.


With these measures, it meant that we were able to perform with the agility necessary to navigate our Group through the difficulties of the pandemic. As a result, the planned digital transformation of the Group progressed at an astounding rate (know more). This has instilled resilience across our entire Group and maintained continuity in delighting our customers. Perhaps the greatest testament of all to the fortitude of our people during the pandemic was that our commitment to helping others didn’t falter. We supported several communities impacted by the pandemic as well as  frontline workers (know more).