Helacor, the ice cream maker Grido, decided to suspend the sale in the 1,700 stores it has in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, due to the spread of the coronavirus throughout the region. In the country there are 1,550; 286 in Córdoba.
The measure was communicated yesterday to its franchisees and, in principle, it extends until next Tuesday the 31st. However, the firm discounts that the quarantine decreed by the national government will last until after Easter, so the closure will continue while official restrictions are maintained.
In this regard, Sebastián Santiago, Helacor’s commercial manager, stressed that the decision was made “to protect the health of employees, franchisees and customers.”
Until now, its franchises commercialized with certain restrictions – some attending from the door or sending by delivery-, since they are food products, they were exempt from restrictions on movement.
However, the spread of the disease throughout the region and the deepening of the measures imposed in neighboring countries prompted Helacor to stop the sale of its products.
“In Chile they implemented the curfew. In Paraguay, they applied the same scheme as Argentina. Only in Uruguay they put into operation a voluntary quarantine system, for which reason it will only be sold there through the platform of Orders Now ”, clarified the manager.
The measure also reached the 180 social ice cream parlors of the Vía Bana brand and will affect about eight thousand workers, since its stores have, on average, between four and five employees belonging to franchises.
In this framework, Santiago clarified that he will initiate negotiations with the provincial government so that franchisees have access to the lines of financing for SMEs that are offered at the official level.
“Helacor will try to accompany the locals as much as we can so that they can get through this moment,” he added.
Brake on the floor
On the other hand, the commercial manager of Helacor clarified that the production plant located in the Ferreyra Industrial Park will slow down, but will not stop.
“You can’t stop manufacturing because we regularly receive cream and lots of bottle supplies, and that can’t be stopped,” he clarified.
Helacor has 300 employees there who work three shifts. So yesterday I designed a scheme that would reduce the number of people in activity by 50 percent, without involving a reduction of personnel.
“We are not going to fire people. The plan is to make a rotary scheme, spacing the production lines and assisting the dining room to decompress the plant, “he explained.
This will mean reducing ice cream production by 30 percent, at a time when the low season begins.
“The expectation is to lower the rate of production, hoping to take care of the health of the entire network and of the factory workers,” added the businessman.
Production: In Córdoba
Grido manufactures its ice creams in the Ferreyra Industrial Park.
Volume. Grido produces 75 million kilos of food between Grido and Vía Bana ice creams and Frizzio frozen products. It has 1,550 stores in Argentina and 1,700 in the region. It exports about 5% of production.
The original text of this article was published on 03/25/2020 in our printed edition.