A new online shopping service called NakupBezpecne.cz (Shop Safely) has been launched by by the founder of delivery service Rohlik.cz, Tomáš Čupr.
The service allows people to get items from local shops without having to spend time going up and down the aisles. People can select a nearby store, enter what items they want, pay online, and then either pick up the order after they get confirmation of when it will be ready, or have it sent by courier.
The NakupBezpecne.cz project is meant to both reduce lines in stores and help smaller businesses keep their customers. Limiting the amount of time people are in stores will reduce the risk of both customers and shop staff being exposed to coronavirus.
The first phase will focus on getting smaller shops involved, and chains may come later. Existing food delivery services lack the capacity to deal with the volume of orders, and are often unavailable outside of cities. Rohlik.cz, for example, is only available in Prague, Brno, Olomouc, Plzeň, Liberec, Hradec Králové, and Pardubice
Čupr said he was inspired to start the service be seeing people crowded together in shops. Going shopping is one of the exceptions to the quarantine across the Czech Republic. “I think that the quarantine is actually useless when there are 200 people in a few square meters,” Čupr told business magazine Forbes.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) and Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism (SOCR ČR) support the project.
“People throughout the Czech Republic will have safe online sales of food, medicines and health aids. Small businesses get free online technology … to reduce the risk of contagion to their employees. At the same time, they will mitigate the adverse economic impact on their business,” Čupr said on the MPO website.
The MPO praised the project for its positive potential. “The NakupBezpecne.cz project is an example of how to deal very well with the extraordinary measures that had to be taken in the context of a coronavirus pandemic and the protection of human health and safety,” Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Silvana Jirotková said.
“Online shopping can be strongly recommended as an effective use of modern information and communication technologies. It has been very important and is well-established in the Czech Republic. Now it is absolutely crucial under the current emergency restrictions,” she added.
Čupr got started with a message on the COVID19CZ Facebook group, which brought together programmers, a call center and other partners.
The service was created in cooperation with the CovPoint team, which is part of the newly launched platform www.spojujemecesko.cz, which allows companies to offer help to the state or to each other. In future, the platform will serve as a space for services, activities and information on which the state cooperates with the professional public, industry, universities and communities.
Rohlík.cz has also launched SuchyRohlik.cz to allow customers across the Czech Republic to buy dry goods such as durable foods and health aids, with delivery the next day after ordering.