Co-ops struggle to deliver goods

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Lack of ‘barcodes’ hampers societies’ role

KUWAIT CITY, March 9: With the implementation of the decision related to partial curfew, questions are being raised about the ability of cooperative societies to deliver goods to its customers during the curfew hours in accordance with the decision of the Cabinet, which had limited the role of cooperative societies during that period to delivery service only, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Given the importance of the role that the cooperative societies play with their vast network of branches spread in every part of Kuwait in normal conditions, this role is expected to face several problems during the curfew period, especially with the exclusion of the issuance of “barcodes”, a facility that was activated during the previous curfew periods. Questions related to the full implementation of their mission within 12 hours extending from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am are concerning the extent to which the cooperative societies have the necessary means to meet the demand, especially since this period witnesses an increase in consumption particularly among the youth.

This requires the availability of a sufficient number of drivers to deliver the orders in an acceptable time. There must be an appropriate number of cars and motorcycles to be used for this purpose, as well as an appropriate payment mechanism suitable for everyone.

A member of the board of directors of the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies and Head of the Media Committee in the union Salah Al-Azmi affirmed that the union is pushing for the activation of the barcode facility like last year. He explained that most cooperative societies do not have sufficient numbers of people to deliver the orders.

They cannot contract with companies that take on this task during the month of the curfew. The matter was assigned to them in a hurry without studying their ability to implement.

The cooperative societies have previous experience in delivery during the time of the total lockdown. They had faced many problems during the implementation, perhaps the most important of which was related to the delivery of frozen and chilled goods and the refusal of customers to receive them upon their arrival, as well as the presence of dozens of types and flavors of one commodity, and the problems that ensued in case of ambiguity in the consumer’s order.

Al-Azmi revealed that a company had donated cars to the cooperative societies to be used for delivering orders in the previous stage; however, this facility is not available now. He indicated that the union and the cooperative societies are studying the establishment of a department for delivery services in the future, affirming that the cooperative societies have the experience that would enable them to launch delivery service, but the barcode booking system is much easier and better at present.

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