Coronavirus: How supermarkets are tackling online shopping chaos

PUBLISHED: 07:50 05 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:07 05 April 2020

Shoppers at Sainsbury's on Pound Lane, Thorpe St. Andrew_19/03/2020. Picture: Lauren De Boise

Shoppers at Sainsbury's on Pound Lane, Thorpe St. Andrew_19/03/2020. Picture: Lauren De Boise


Supermarkets have revealed how they are prioritising online deliveries in order to serve the most vulnerable customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shopper at Morrisons in DissShopper at Morrisons in Diss

People across the county have been ordering their food shops online after government advice on social distancing.

Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons have seen a large increase in demand leaving some customers unable to get a delivery slot.

Asda has asked customers to put additional information in their online order.

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ASDA opening at 7am, queues outside from 6am amid Corona Virus. Pictures: ARCHANTASDA opening at 7am, queues outside from 6am amid Corona Virus. Pictures: ARCHANT

A spokesperson said: “We have recently seen a huge increase of demand for home shopping and we want to let our customers know that we’re working extremely hard to open up new slots every day to meet our customer needs.

“We would ask that any customer who has specific circumstance due to coronavirus lets us know in the ‘other information’ section whilst placing their order.”

Sainsbury’s has been prioritising elderly and vulnerable customers since the lockdown began.

A spokesman said: “We have proactively contacted 270,000 customers who had already given us information that meant we could identify them as elderly or vulnerable.

Early-morning queues outside the Harford Tesco in Norwich. Picture: ArchantEarly-morning queues outside the Harford Tesco in Norwich. Picture: Archant

“We have also booked slots for 115,000 elderly and vulnerable customers [nationally].”

The government has released a database of people it considers to be the most vulnerable. Sainsbury’s will add this to their own information to offer delivery times.

Morrisons have created 3,500 new roles in its stores with about 2,500 of those being pickers and drivers for online deliveries.

Food parcels have been created which can be ordered online and shipped to customers homes with vegetarian options.

More delivery slots are available with 100 more stores added to pick customers’ shopping.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We expect the days, weeks and months ahead to be very testing and we are determined to do our bit.

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“These measures will support our very hard-working colleagues, enable us to provide more food to more people in their homes and create opportunities for people whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus.”

Tesco is working at maximum capacity and has asked those who are able to safely to shop are their local store to free up slots for the vulnerable.

It is also hoping to increase its capacity in the coming days.

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