Aldi offers priority access for front-line workers at its Irish shops

Communications software group Poppulo makes its technology free to use for healthcare workers

Supermarket chain Aldi is to offer front-line workers prioritised shopping at its 142 stores throughout the State.

From Thursday, staff providing essential services will be given priority access to Aldi Ireland stores between 9am and 8pm, by showing relevant ID. If customer numbers are being limited due to social distancing guidelines, front-line staff will be given access to the store as soon as safely possible.

Aldi said the move will allow those working long shifts, and who may be finding it hard to shop for groceries, access to stores without having to deal with large queues outside a store before being able to buy what they need.

Supermarkets across the State have introduced a number of priority shopping hours for older people and carers.


The supermarket also said on Tuesday it had lifted almost all of the product purchase restrictions that it introduced on March 12th amid the spike in grocery shopping that followed the Government’s move to close schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak. A handful of products, including hand sanitiser, are still subject to buying limits for customers.


Meanwhile, Poppulo, the Irish company whose communications software platform is used by organisations to communicate with more than 25 million employees globally, is making its technology free to use for healthcare workers in Ireland.

The Cork-based company said the Health Service Executive had already taken up the offer to use the technology to better communicate with front-line workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

The company has fast-tracked set-up processes so that crisis teams can get up and running immediately.

Formerly known as Newsweaver, Poppulo's employee communications platform is used by more than 900 organisations around the world, with customers including Unilever, Bank of America, Nestlé, Johnson Controls, Rolls-Royce, Boston Scientific CRH, Kerry and the Ardagh Group.

Chief executive Andrew O’Shaughnessy said its platform was designed for the type of urgent communications public healthcare crisis teams need right now.

“Working with big multinational organisations every day, we know how to get the communications needed by front-line staff in place rapidly and want to do everything we can to help these heroic people,” he said.

Poppulo, which last year announced plans to create 125 jobs in Ireland and a similar number in the US, received a €30 million investment from US venture capital firm Susquehanna Growth Equity in January 2019 to support its expansion overseas. It currently employs about 200 people, most of whom are in Cork.

The company claims 30 per cent of the largest employers in Europe as customers and 20 per cent of the biggest ones in the US.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist