Singapore’s government urged residents to consider ordering their groceries online rather than going to the shops. That just became tougher.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Lazada Group SA is temporarily suspending new grocery orders in Singapore after strict physical distancing measures and rising coronavirus cases triggered a surge in orders.
RedMart, Lazada’s online grocer unit, will not take new orders until it resumes on April 4, the company said in a notice to customers on Thursday. RedMart will use this time to make changes to the range of products available and prioritize daily essentials such as rice, flour and eggs, it said, adding that it will fulfill existing orders.
Lazada’s RedMart and other grocery delivery services such as Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Now have been kept busy amid harrowing economic times in Singapore. These companies have been trying to cope with surging demand as about 5.7 million people in the densely populated island increasingly turn to online grocery shopping, part of Singapore’s S$7.5 billion ($5.2 billion) grocery market estimated by Euromonitor.
While lockdowns in neighboring Malaysia may have disrupted food supply into Singapore, government officials have assured the nation it won’t run out of food or basic necessities.