Tesco to close 24-hour stores overnight to re-stock after panic-buying

PUBLISHED: 20:28 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:38 18 March 2020

Empty shelves at Tesco. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

Empty shelves at Tesco. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme

Kate Wolstenholme

Tesco is set to reduce the hours for hundreds of stores from Tuesday night as it copes with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Antibacterial wipes in Tesco Extra, on Blue Boar Lane in Norwich, at 6.30am on Monday. Picture: Sarah RavencroftAntibacterial wipes in Tesco Extra, on Blue Boar Lane in Norwich, at 6.30am on Monday. Picture: Sarah Ravencroft

Bosses at the UK’s biggest supermarket have decided to close all 24-hour stores at 10pm, reopening at 6am on Wednesday morning.

They will continue to open between 6am and 10pm for the immediate future, it is understood.

Tesco has a number of 24-hour stores in Norfolk, including those in Norwich, Dereham, Thetford, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

This move comes as stores and supermarkets in Norfolk and across the rest of the country have been stripped of long-life products as worried shoppers stockpile, despite being urged not to do so.

Staff in stores were informed on Tuesday afternoon and it was not immediately clear whether those who will see shifts cut will also see a cut in pay during the uncertain times.

Tesco declined to comment.

READ MORE: McDonalds closes seating areas in all UK restaurants

Details are being updated online with new store opening times, and it is believed some larger 24-hour stores that have pharmacies will remain open beyond 10pm.

The decision comes as the Government announced a business rates holiday for all retailers and the leisure industry.

Earlier on Tuesday, Morrisons revealed a series of packages to protect staff and announce an expansion of its online operations – including 3,500 new jobs.

Supermarkets have seen a surge in shoppers stocking up on essentials, and said supply chains are working well. However, there have been reports of abuse aimed at staff.

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