Corporate social responsibility has become a key focus for companies in in recent years. More than ever, consumers are looking to shop at businesses who make a real difference to society and have that feel good factor. During the coronavirus pandemic, the country has pulled together to support the most vulnerable as well as key workers on the front line. These five companies stood out with their generous offers of support, which will no doubt be remembered by consumers choosing where to carefully spend their money after the pandemic.
CEO of Timpson Group, James Timpson, practices “upside down management” and has an impressive history of implementing innovative policies to support his employees. Throughout the coronavirus crisis, Timpson has spent £500,000 a week topping up the pay of furloughed employees to ensure they still take home 100% of their usual wages. Furthermore, Timpson offered their head office car park to NHS staff at Wythenshaw hospital, to use for free while the office was closed.
A huge decrease in car journeys during lockdown meant fewer car crashes, thus fewer insurance payouts. In recognition of this money saved, car insurer Admiral decided to share its profits and announced all of their customers would automatically receive a £25 refund on their policies.
3) Pret A Manger
Sandwich chain Pret have a reputation for being socially conscious and have a fleet of vans that deliver unsold food at the end of each day to homeless shelters and charities. When the COVID-19 outbreak began, they made 7000 extra meals a week to help the homeless and were one of the first to offer free hot drinks and discounted food to NHS staff. When their stores closed, Pret’s marketing team upped their customer engagement game and began sharing recipes for some of their most popular menu items.
When lockdown was announced, hundreds of coaches and tour buses across the UK were immediately put out of action. Starsleeper offered their fleet of unused tour buses to NHS staff for free. The coaches were parked up outside hospitals around the country to give staff somewhere to sleep or rest between shifts. Other coach companies have since followed suit to help frontline staff.
In the early stages of the pandemic, panic buying and stockpiling lead to supermarket shortages and charities struggled to support the increasing number of people relying on food parcels. Breadmaker Hovis donated an extra 50,000 loaves of bread to the food distribution charity, FareShare, during lockdown. Although they’ve worked with the charity since 2017, Hovis significantly increased their donation to help with the additional demand.
Have you noticed more companies doing good deeds during the pandemic? Will this impact your shopping choices in the near future?