Shoppers leave a Carrefour SA supermarket in Paris, France, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. The company releases its earnings this week. Photographer: Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg via Getty Images
French supermarket retailer Carrefour and Uber Eats said on Wednesday that they will launch a new delivery service aimed at helping Parisians buy essential goods and food during the nationwide lockdown triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

Delivery groups and takeaway companies across Europe have been tapping into soaring demand for their services as customers grapple with how to stock up on basic goods during the shutdowns.

Supermarkets are still open in France and elsewhere, though many have restricted the number of shoppers who can enter at one time for safety reasons, while many customers are looking to reduce their store visits.

Carrefour and Uber Eats’ new service will start with about 15 stores in Paris and the surrounding region on April 6, before being rolled out nationwide. It allow users to choose a Carrefour convenience store on the Uber Eats app or website.

They can also order products by phone from 11am to 11pm, including everyday grocery shopping as well as hygiene and cleaning products. Customers will also be able to get deliveries at home within 30 minutes on average.

Uber Eats will waive delivery fees on all Carrefour orders during the month of April.

Some delivery companies have come in for criticism over working conditions for staff and related services such as Uber’s better known ride sharing app, which is widely used but has sparked protests from taxi firms in countries like France.

In Britain, Deliveroo announced two services last month to help people who are self-isolating because of Covid-19 — the first supplying essentials, such as tinned goods, pasta and household items, and the second, a tie-up with Marks & Spencer’s stores on BP forecourts.

Goods such as toilet paper and tissues or tinned tuna are also available for delivery via Deliveroo from Casino-owned Franprix stores in Paris.

In Spain, Uber Eats said it is teaming up with Galp, an energy and petrol station group, to provide home deliveries of cleaning products and toiletries from its convenience stores.

In Brazil, Uber Eats will also work with pharmacies, convenience stores and pet shops to get supplies flowing, it said.

Carrefour was already exploring options of this kind before the coronavirus pandemic, as supermarket groups face competition from the likes of Amazon. Last year, it partnered with Spanish start-up Glovo to provide fast home-delivery services.