LOCAL NEWS: Sainsbury’s to prioritise the elderly and vulnerable


Panic-buying over coronavirus fears has left supermarket shelves empty and the elderly and vulnerable without vital items. This morning, Sainsbury’s unveiled their plans to ensure those who are most in need are prioritised. 

Hot on the heels of other big-name supermarkets, who have been making changes to their operations in an effort to respond to the recent spate of panic-buying, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe emailed all customers who are registered online this morning with their most recent changes. He said: “I have listened to feedback from you and from Sainsbury’s colleagues across the country and wanted to share some of the extra steps we are taking to make sure everyone has access to the items that they need.” 

 Priority Shopping In-Store and Online

On Thursday 19 March 2020, the first hour of opening at all Sainsbury’s stores will be exclusively for elderly and vulnerable people. Over the next few days they will also be contacting anyone over the age of 70 or has a registered disability, and is registered for online shopping, to provide details on how they can access priority online delivery slots. These slots will be available from Monday 23 March. 

For anyone else with an online account, Sainsbury’s will be expanding their click and collect services to more stores around the country. 

Restricted items

From today, there is a three-item limit on a large number of staple food products and customers will be limited to just two of the most popular household items such as toilet paper and soap. 

In addition, they will be temporarily closing their fresh meat, fish and pizza counters, along with their cafes: “This means we can free up warehouse and lorry capacity for products that customers really need. It will also free up time for our store colleagues to focus on keeping the shelves as well stocked as possible.” 

Shop Responsibly

Mike has urged people to bear in mind that there’s enough food for everyone if anyone remembers to shop responsibly, saying “We are also focusing all of our efforts on getting as much food and other essential items from our suppliers, into our warehouses and onto shelves as we possibly can. We still have enough food for everyone – if we all just buy what we need for us and our families,” 

For more information, you can follow Sainsbury’s on Twitter or Facebook, or visit their website to register for online shopping here.



  1. Sainsburys on line delivery for vulnerable people even when identified by the government is the joke of the pandemic when it is all over they may offer registration and slots but perhaps find there customers have voted with their feet.

  2. Stella Burgoyne on

    My sister and her husband live many miles from me. Both have COPD and are 75 and 77. She has been going out for shopping!!! And dog food! They do not have WiFi or do any technology….. how can they get help? Can I do anything remote for them?

  3. Stanley Bellman on

    I am registered with Tesco as a priority customer but when try to register with sainsbury I have a message saying I cannot be identified . Appreciated advice
    I also have a letter from NHS confirming my status.

  4. I had a message from Sainsbury a week ago to say I had priority online shopping as I am over 70 after I applied and gave my Nectar card number. When I go on to the site to order it says “sorry but we have been unable to identify you as a priority customer”. Neither does it give me the option to book an ordinary slot for delivery! Not helpful at all

    • Dear MY NE, I am having exactly the same problem as you with Sainsbury’s, I have been a Very Good Customer of Sainsbury’s for the last 35 years and I now feel that they are Just ignoring me.. My 70 year old husband is a Veteran and has fought for his Country, but is now bed-ridden and also has Cancer, I look after him 24/7 and can’t leave the house for any shopping so I have to rely on internet shopping. After 35 years of shopping with Sainsbury’s, they now tell me that we are not recognised as a vulnerable elderly couple.. So I emailed Gov.co.uk and registered for Online Priority Delivery Slots which they said would take 2 to 3 days for the Government to let Sainsbury’s know, but it has now been over 2 weeks !!! I am still waiting but you never know, I hope soon that I will receive an email from them saying I will get a priority delivery slot.. You could try to email them at Gov.co.uk, you never know, you might have more luck than we have.. Take Care x Stay Safe x Best Wishes x Hazel..

  5. Marie hadfield on

    I have been trying to get hold of how I can get vulnerable delivery to myself.I find it impossible to speak to anybody or get on line.I have been told I have to isolate myself. I live in a flat for retired people am over 80 .Born 07 11 1939. I hope you can help me.

  6. Mrs. Una Kerr on

    you are constantly reminding me that as a vulnerable person over 70 and with a husband who is asthmatic you will allow me to shop on line but will not allow me to register. I am a Nectar card holder and have been an online shopper in the past.

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