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IGA Representative to China
What happens when your community is in crisis? You come together, you help your neighbors and family and friends. You do what you can to support those in need. That is the spirit of IGA. And it is alive and well in China.
IGA China headquarters is in Wuhan, the epicenter of this increasingly global health crisis. One of the founding IGA China retailers Zhongbai is headquartered here as well, with over 75 stores in Wuhan. And of course, there are over 1,000 stores across all of China.
Many of you are curious what it is like here. The streets are empty; public markets, stores, entertainment, and schools are shut down. The government has built a multi-thousand bed hospital essentially overnight, and health officials are working to isolate the cause, develop treatments, ease suffering.
Unlike most retailers, IGA stores here are open. We take the responsibility of feeding and caring for our communities seriously. It is an odd feeling to move through empty streets to get to your job, where everyone is masked, and everyone is afraid.
But the stability of IGA means something to our shoppers. They tell us how thankful they are that we are open, how appreciative they are that something so normal as grocery shopping continues when so much of normal life is disrupted.
Although this virus is a terrible thing, it is not unlike many of the terrible things which seemed to happen this year all over the world. From forest fires in California in the U.S. and all over Australia to hurricanes in the Caribbean, somewhere, someplace a community has been in need. And in these cases there has always been an IGA ready to help.
What makes IGA such a wonderful company, what makes us such an amazing culture, is that no matter where a crisis happens, IGA stands up and steps in. Hometown Proud is not just a marketing phrase, but a way of living. Our values aren’t corporate statements, but welded to our culture.
If you in other parts of the world saw your IGA retailers helping their communities, you would be proud. But I don’t think you would be surprised. Being independent means so much more than doing whatever you want. It means empowering your family to support the families in need, no matter what.
That's what IGA China is doing now. That’s what IGA Global does every day. Big or small, crises come and go. What prevails is our almost 100-year-old company heritage of always doing the right thing.
Thank you for your many calls of support.
Deputy Representative to China