Shoppers are being urged to shop heavily as supermarkets tighten safety measures ahead of expected new closing restrictions.
After a hiatus of several months, Morrisons brought back guards at the doors of its 494 supermarket to better monitor shoppers and remind entrants to wear face masks.
Jane Wall, Operations Director at Morrisons, said the company’s additional hygiene measures – which include selling machine-style cleaning stations outside stores and hiring thousands of new cleaners – are designed to make “customers feel as safe as possible.”
In March, supermarkets were forced to take drastic measures, including rationing of products like pasta, toilet rolls and flour, after the coronavirus hit British shores and triggered a wave of stockpiling.
With the industry keen to avoid a repeat this fall, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) urged shoppers not to change their habits.
“Retailers have done an excellent job ensuring customers have access to food and essentials during this pandemic,” said Andrew Obie, BRC’s director of food and sustainability.
“Supermarkets have put in place a set of safety measures to protect employees and customers. In the event of a future shutdown, we urge consumers to consider and shop for food as they usually do during this difficult time.”
According to industry sources, the domestic lockdowns introduced in recent weeks have not resulted in the extreme shopping behavior that occurred during the original national lockdown, so it is hoped to avoid the repetition of long queues and empty shelves.
Tesco currently has no shortage of products as the UK’s largest food retailer has reported good availability both in stores and online. Sainsbury’s, the second largest supermarket in the UK, said it had “good availability from.” [delivery] slots “and trading patterns at the end of this week” were normal. “
The pandemic forced the country’s food retailers to rethink their business models as demand for home grocery delivery doubled at the height of the crisis.
All major chains have expanded their services with Tesco now offering 1.5 million connectivity ports per week, compared to 600,000 in March. Sainsbury said its website can now serve twice as many people as it did six months ago.