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Online food delivery slots begin to appear as supermarkets fight to expand capacity

PUBLISHED: 13:18 26 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:50 26 April 2020

Retired journalist John Evans. Pic: submitted

Retired journalist John Evans. Pic: submitted

Supermarkets are fighting to improve service after criticism from self-isolating shoppers saying they are unable to secure delivery or click and collect slots.

Asda's website showing slots for delivery are available. Pic: ArchantAsda's website showing slots for delivery are available. Pic: Archant

After weeks of lockdown, and some people saying they have to stay up until midnight to find a delivery, supermarkets say they have improved their availability.

When this newspaper tried to obtain a home delivery or click and collect service, many appeared to be available.

Tesco had no available click and collects from its Norwich Sprowston superstore, but did have plenty of home deliveries for Monday evening from 7pm to 10pm costing from £2.50 to £4.

Asda in Norwich had two delivery slots for £3 from 5pm to 8pm on Thursday but nothing else until May 9 and no click and collects.

Sainsbury’s in North Walsham had plenty of click and collect slots available with the earliest being 9am on Monday right through until 3pm every day until Friday, May 1. All were free, but deliveries were for vulnerable people only.

Morrisons, which at one point was operating a queueing system just to access its website, was now offering a home delivery for Tuesday at the earliest and plenty of click and collects from its Cromer store. They started on Sunday and included some free slots, while others charged £1.

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Waitrose’s North Walsham store showed no home deliveries or click and collects at all.

Food parcels, containing essentials delivered to your door, many of which had previously sold out, were also available to buy at both Aldi, for £24, and Marks & Spencer, for £35.

But shopper John Evans, 69, who lives in community housing in Stow Bridge, near King’s Lynn, and has been declared by the government as a vulnerable person, said he is still struggling to get a slot. “Just after midnight Tesco had slots available on May 15, 17, 18 and 19 but they were all gone by 1am,” he said.

“Tesco still have not prioritised me although I got an email from Iceland yesterday offering priority access to their home delivery service so the registration system is working. I’ve also had a phone call from the people managing the register offering to send me a food parcel.”

Supermarkets including Tesco have recruited thousands of extra workers to cope with the demand.

It said: “We know that it’s difficult right now to get a delivery slot for online shopping. If you’re able to shop in-store safely instead of booking a delivery, it would be a great help. This will allow us to start freeing up more slots for the more vulnerable.”

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