Personal shoppers, community grocer service rise during COVID-19 pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2020 05:08 PM | Updated as of Aug 29 2020 04:55 PM

People buy supplies from the grocery in Metro Manila, March 15, 2020. Fernando G. Sepe Jr. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Fearing COVID-19, Loran Vingson orders daily essentials online.

As shops find more ways to reach consumers during the coronavirus pandemic, more new job descriptions rise including personal shoppers and community grocer services.

Acting as her personal grocer, someone buys her needs and she just pays extra for the items to be delivered at her home.

When the goods arrive, Vingson disinfects the items to ensure they're free from contamination before loading it in the pantry.

She said the service fee and delivery charge are a small price to pay to make sure she does not contract the virus.

COMMUNITY BASED DELIVERY

Enrique Carlos has a similar business in his community in Fairview.

He takes orders from neighbors and friends and delivers the items on their doorstep.

He delivers mostly grocery items like hotdogs, chicken, pork and canned goods.

His customer said this service enabled them to avoid going to the wet market and supermarkets.

Even malls are getting in on the personal shopper interest.

Ayala Malls has started Ayala Malls Neighborhood Assistant (ANA).

It's similar to a personal shopper where one orders online any item he or she wants to purchase.

The order goes through their concierge and the assigned ANA will purchase the item in the store, have it packed and arrange for delivery.

Items that ANA can purchase for the shopper includes medicines, clothes, gadgets, toys, and clothing.

Ayala Malls head Jenylle Tupaz said this is one way to service their clients who are afraid to go to their malls or have no time to go to the malls.

Currently, there is no service fee yet but come Sept. 1, 2020, Ayala Malls will charge P200 for purchases of up to P5,000. The client pays for the delivery charge too.

SM Supermalls, meanwhile, said it uses its Facebook pages and Takeout and Delivery viber community to bring food and other essentials to consumers. 

The Sy-led retail operator also implemented a "curbside pickup service" for customers who prefer drive thru and quick pickup of items, it said.

SM and the SM Store also have a call to deliver hotline (#143SM) which enables consumers to shop for essentials from their homes, assisted by a personal shopper from the nearest branch.

Its supermarkets are also available online, it said.


-- with a report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News