Amid the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Alfamart, the first and only Super Minimart chain in the Philippines, has resumed its expansion to cater to the needs of local communities.
What was once a simple and mundane task has been made more challenging and risky by the ECQ. Grocery shopping is now much more complicated than it used to be, as people now have to contend with curfews, checkpoints, social distancing, and quarantine passes to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help address these concerns and alleviate the burden on individual households, neighborhood minimarts like Alfamart have become more popular destinations for these errands, as they are closer to home.
In the recent week, Alfamart opened eight new stores across Luzon; namely, in Tabun, Angeles, Pampanga; Barangay 176, Bagong Silang, Caloocan; Poblacion, Floridablanca, Pampanga; Palico, Imus, Cavite; Silangan, Rosario, Cavite; Daan Sarile, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija; Saog, Marilao, Bulacan; and Grand Valley Subdivision, Angono, Rizal.
Ten more stores are opening in other locations in May.
Alfamart Philippines COO Harvey Ong pointed out that the expansion amid the ECQ is more about following through on Alfamart’s advocacy to improve communities. “The ECQ has been very challenging for everyone, especially those living in communities that are significantly farther from malls, supermarkets, and groceries,” Ong said. “We want to bring that safe, convenient, and comfortable shopping experience closer to home through our Super Minimarts,” he continued.
Ong also highlighted how Alfamart is doing everything it can to reduce health risks, and inconveniences, for both employees and customers. “Our stores follow strict sanitary and hygiene protocols. We also provide PPEs for our frontline and backend staff,” he said. “Also, as part of our walk-to-work philosophy, we hire our store crew locally. As much as possible, we prefer our employees to be within walking distance of their assigned stores. This helps manage their travel time,” he further explained.
Ong enumerated other measures that ensure the store staff are taken care of such as free shuttle rides, proper coordination with checkpoints for expedited supply chain deliveries, proper scheduling and shorter operating hours.
“In these trying times, everyone is called to be vigilant and serve. Alfamart will do its part to help the community by keeping as many of our existing stores open and reaching out to more communities so we can serve more people,” he concluded.