Dubai (UAE): Union Coop, the largest consumer cooperative in the UAE, announced allocation of AED 17 Million to support initiatives by the government to confront the Corona pandemic, as it spent about 8 million and AED 522, 000 until April 22, in addition to providing logistic support and awareness campaigns to educate community members, including support to Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Police and the Community Development Authority and other authorities, as part of the commitment towards the community.
The announcement was made during a Remote Conference held by Union Coop, announcing its initiatives to combat Coronavirus pandemic and its preparation for the holy month of Ramadan.
During the conference, H.E. Khalid Humaid Bin Diban Al Falasi, CEO of Union Coop, said: “Since the beginning of this year, global markets have faced many challenges due to the Corona pandemic, which added new challenges in providing products and price stability, which Union Coop has addressed through several decisions
and actions. The strategic stock of goods is sufficient from 4 to 6 months in the case of normal consumption and stable market, while in the case of market closure, the stock is sufficient from 2 to 3 months, indicating that Union Coop as a national economic institution contributed to implementing the directives of the wise leadership to provide food commodities continuously and in quantities that meet the needs of consumers while following best practices."
AED 150 million to reduce prices
Speaking about Ramadan initiatives, the CEO said, "Union Coop allocated about AED 150 Million to reduce the prices of more than 25,000 basic food and consumer commodities during the holy month of Ramadan with expected sale of AED 700 Million. "He called on shoppers to continue the monthly rather than weekly purchasing pattern during the pandemic for its benefits and financial savings for consumers, and to preserve public health and safety.
Value of Contracts Exceeds AED 500 Million
Al Falasi stressed “Union Coop signed agreements with suppliers for over AED 500 Million to supply sufficient goods during the holy month of Ramadan and the upcoming Eid Al Fitr, thereby calling shoppers not to be afraid of running out of goods as all Union Coop branches operate from 7 AM to 2 AM, to allow shoppers to purchase their needs at any time they see fitavoiding crowed and queues" explaining that initially Union Coop was aspiring to open its branches for 24 hours, which was reduced for allowing for required sterilisationprocess. Al Falasi appealed to the customers to allocate an hour from 7 am to 8 am for the elderly citizens for their easy shopping. Al-Falasi also said, “Union Coop works to protect employees and customers by providing sanitizers and gloves to consumers and sterilizing shopping carts which are now reduced by half to reduce crowd and maintain safe distance.”.
The CEO went on further appreciating the Union Coop staff who form the first line of defence to the pandemic, for their tremendous efforts in providing goods and services,."Al Falasi also thanked the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, the Ministry of Economy, the Department of Economic Development, Dubai and the Dubai Municipality, in addition to the Dubai Economic Security Centre, on its daily follow-up with Union Coop to ensure strategic inventory and supply operations and provide the necessary facilities to ensure business continuity and monitor prices and the availability of goods.
“Union Coop raised the number of employees working in the online store to more than 500. This includes employees of the E-Commerce Section, delivery services and logistical support like Noon, El Grocer, Dukkaani, Instashop, Masar, ATC, Swan, Dubai Taxi, Infiniti, New Heights and ADCO where these agreements contributed to achieve records in delivering the goods, with current 155 delivery vehicles which is being increased to over 300 vehicles", he said, and said that the target delivery time is two business days. "To make Ramadan goods accessible to consumers, the Union Coop online store provides more than 32,000 food and non-food items via online channels” said Al Falasi adding that the growthof e-shopping has increased significantly, with the current 61,664 as against 38,816 last year. Daily orders have also gone up from 125 per day to 900 now.
Moreover, sales for the same period amounted to Dh 14,840,425 with a total number of orders 44,213 were delivered to customers with a growth exceeding 223% of the total sales of the online store since beginning of the year 2020 through March 1st .
Al Falasi called on the concerned authorities to obligate the sales outlets with the principles and rules of promotional offers, which must include the availability of the product in large quantities, the long shelf life of the product, in addition to the duration of the promotional campaign, to prevent misleading of shoppers and thereby to contribute to creating comparative rules based on scientific foundations that contribute to protecting consumers from improper promotional offers.