Sainsbury’s has announced it will be introducing new measures to protect its elderly and vulnerable customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Its stores will open to these two groups only for the first hour of business on Thursday 19th to extend help to those who need it the most.
It follows a move by select Iceland stores in the past few days to introduce reserved time slots for more at-risk groups.
Supermarkets have seen a huge surge in recent days, with online delivery slots being booked up for weeks in advance.
The supermarket has also announced it will be helping elderly and vulnerable customers access food online. From Monday 23rd March, it will be prioritising delivery slots for its online customers who are over 70 and those who have a disability.
These customers will be contacted in the following days with more details by the supermarket, so it is worth registering online now if you fall into one of these groups.
On top of this, the supermarket is also going to be offering an expanded ‘click and collect’ service for online customers who can travel from Monday 23rd March.
Customers will be able to place their order online and pick it up from a collection point in the store car park. It is hoped that this method will also work for those who are self-isolating.
As of Thursday 19th, all branches will be closing their meat, fish and pizza counters in order to free up freight capacity and to get more essential items onto shelves.
Restrictions are also being imposed on the number of items each person can buy.
“As we work to feed the nation, we are also focusing all of our efforts on getting as much food and other essential items from our suppliers into our warehouse and onto shelves as we possibly can,” said a spokesperson.
“We still have enough food for everyone – if we all just buy what we need for us and our families.”
From Wednesday onward, each customer will be able to purchase a maximum of three of any grocery products and a maximum of two on the most popular items such as toilet roll, soap and UHT milk.
Other supermarkets are also mobilising to change their operations, with Morrisons announcing it is planning a new call centre for those without access to online shopping and looking to roll out a new range of easy to order food parcels as of Monday 23rd.