New Retail Restrictions: Fewer Customers in Store, More Online

February 18, 2021

Past week saw an even more secure retail model came into force, resulting in a change in shopping habits and accelerating decrease in the number of customers, down by around 30% at the same time as the average shopping basket grew. Furthermore, increasing numbers of customers have reacted to the new shopping policy by choosing to shop in larger-format stores in the early mornings and late evenings. Online shopping also continues to grow, with the number of customers increasing sixfold in the sixth week of the year.
The customers continue to use technology and explore online shopping opportunities. Last week, the number of shoppers on increased sixfold compared with the same week last year. In the past week, the most frequently-purchased non-food items were winter-related – toboggans and snow shovels – as well as kitchen supplies such as pots and pans. To avoid visiting stores in person, shoppers outside of Riga are also shopping online; the number of Barbora Express orders from outside the capital has increased by 6%.
Under new retail restrictions, there was increased demand in Maxima stores for everyday goods. For example, demand for toys, sports and leisure goods grew almost threefold; shoes and various accessories saw an increase of more than 100%; demand has also increased significantly—fourfold—for various cosmetics and toiletries.
“Since February 8, new and safer retail rules have come into force, which demonstrates people’s ability to adapt quickly to such a fluctuating situation. People visit the store even less frequently, and have adapted to the traffic light principle to help them buy what they need safely and conveniently. We want to express our gratitude to our customers, who have been understanding and adhere to the new safety measures despite temporary inconveniences. This is closely linked with the fact that some products could not be purchased in person for almost two months, meaning that people have rushed to the shops to purchase a range of products, which is understandable. Product choice in the food segment has not changed significantly, and the most-purchased products are still dominated by fresh groceries: fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products. We continue to remind customers to dress for the current weather just in case they have to wait outdoors for a short while,” explains Liene Dupate-Ugule, Head of Communications at Maxima Latvija.
The safer shopping model primarily dictates that the number of customers permitted in the store at one time has been reduced further by almost a half, and the way this is controlled is also now stricter. For example:
  • the number of trolleys and baskets at the entrance is the same as the number of customers allowed in the store. If there are none available at the entrance, store security will ask customers to wait until one has become free;
  • the larger Maxima stores automatically calculate the number of customers in an electronic system which can be overseen in real time on a tablet monitored by store security;
  • entrance to the store is by the entrance gates only, and not via the checkouts or self checkout zone;
  • visitors may only come alone or with a child aged up to 12 years.
Information for the media:                                                                                                                                
Liene Dupate-Ugule
Head of Communications, SIA "Maxima Latvija"
Phone: +371 26425420