Coronavirus: BWG rolls out digital health app for staff

Wholesale chain plans to make service available to workers in 1,000-plus shops

BWG’s brands include Spar, Mace, XL and Londis: app includes video and online tools to engage with psychologists and counsellors. Photograph: Eric Luke

BWG’s brands include Spar, Mace, XL and Londis: app includes video and online tools to engage with psychologists and counsellors. Photograph: Eric Luke

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Irish wholesale chain BWG is rolling out a new digital health app to support its 1,650 direct employees during the Covid-19 crisis. It also plans to make it available to the more than 23,000 retail staff that work across group shops.

The group, which operates the Spar, Mace, Londis and XL brands, has more than 1,000 shops in its national network.

BWG group HR director Peter Donohoe said the new BWG B-well service would initially be provided to direct employees who were managing the supply chain and delivery networks and to those working remotely. He said plans were afoot to extend it across the group to frontline retail staff who were the “unsung heroes” in the current crisis and who were “doing phenomenal work in very difficult circumstances”.

Accredited experts

The app provides a number of Covid-19-related supports, including 24-hour confidential video and online tools to engage with clinical psychologists and counselling services. It also gives staff access to accredited experts in fitness, nutrition, finance and parenting to help them cope during the crisis.

“From a timing perspective, we couldn’t have rolled this out at a better time. We hoped at the start that it would prove to be an essential tool for employees but didn’t realise at the start just how critical it would be in terms of supporting staff,” said Mr Donohoe.

BWG is serving more than one million customers each day with over 230 trucks criss-crossing the country to deliver stock to local shops.

Mr Donohoe said retailers were playing a critical role also in supporting local communities through additional measures such as providing deliveries to elderly and infirm customers.