“We have learned the lessons of the first containment, we have increased our stocks. The whole chain is ready”, Dominique Schelcher, president of the Système U large distribution group, said on franceinfo on Thursday, October 29. “There is no need to rush into the shops this morning”, he insisted while the new confinement comes into force this Thursday evening at midnight until at least December 1. Dominique Schelcher also reached out to small producers.
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franceinfo: Are your supermarkets ready to face this new confinement?
Dominique Schelcher: The “second line”, which I represent a little this morning, it is ready. She has been mobilized since the first hour. And for several weeks, we have anticipated a number of things including an increase in stock of essential products. And so, there is merchandise. There is no need this morning to rush into the stores as we saw yesterday, punctually, and not at all to the same extent as in March. We have learned the lessons of the first confinement, we have increased our stocks. The whole chain is ready because it’s not just us, we’re at the end of the chain. Before there are manufacturers who produce, who are mobilized. There are farmers in the fields. All these people are ready to coordinate this. I can tell you that we are summoned this morning at 10:45 am for a first inter-ministerial meeting, with four ministers who will ensure that this food chain will hold up, like the first time.
Have you prepared for an increase in drive-through traffic and door-to-door deliveries?
Of course, as I speak to you, I can tell you that the drive slots to have orders until the end of the week are already very, very busy. And we feel that people have less desire to travel with the public and therefore will order from a distance. So we are organizing very strongly on this level as well.
Do you see yourself as survivors in the French economic landscape?
We have been on the front lines since day one, this morning with a feeling of responsibility, but also a duty of solidarity. For example, I appeal to small producers who only sell goods to restaurants, come knock on the door of U stores: as you did at the first containment, if we can, we will sell your products to limit the damage. I also say this to nurserymen or nearby florists who, perhaps, will not be able to open this weekend, if there is a way to help them to sell goods: knock on the door of our stores, contact our store owners, we will help you. We must show solidarity.