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.
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.”
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,”