From tomorrow (Monday 23rd March), Waitrose shops will set aside a proportion of hard-to-find and essential products from every delivery that arrives into its supermarkets exclusively for NHS staff, on production of an NHS card.
Whenever available, Partners in shops will reserve core grocery items to help get crucial basics to hard-working NHS workers, who often do not have flexibility over what time of the day they can visit a supermarket.
NHS staff will also be given priority checkout service in the retailer’s shops, to ensure they are able to get through as quickly and easily as possible.
Measures will include: dedicated NHS checkouts, Partners opening up new tills for them as needed, or moving to the front of the queue.
In addition, John Lewis is responding to requests from NHS workers for items that would make their breaks more comfortable.
The retailer will be donating items such as pillows, phone chargers, eye masks and hand cream, as well as more than 50,000 Easter treats.
Executive director for customer service at the John Lewis Partnership Berangere Michel said: “Through these steps we want to recognise the tireless work of NHS staff, supporting us all through these unprecedented circumstances.
“We hope these measures make their life a little easier; our Partners are keen to do something to help, and we are offering this with sincere thanks from us all.”
The new measures follow steps outlined by the John Lewis Partnership earlier this week to support customers – including the launch of a £1million Community Support Fund to help local communities along with a protected shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable.
Many Waitrose shops have already been using their community funds to assemble care packages for vulnerable or elderly people.
The John Lewis Partnership has also launched a support fund to aid its own Partners who are facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic; such as childcare costs.
Partners are also being offered free meals at work.
This week the employee-owned company announced it was donating £75,000 per charity to Age UK, FareShare and the Trussell Trust for immediate activity in response to the coronavirus outbreak.