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Supermarkets Are Restocking, But Online Delivery Still Can’t Keep Up

Government announcement reiterates COVID-19’s disconnect between supply and demand

Supermarket queue of shoppers socially distancing during COVID-19
Queueing in the shadows
Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Coronavirus’ impact on supermarkets will linger

Despite Environment Secretary George Eustice declaring U.K. supermarkets’ stocks “back to normal,” novel coronavirus’ ramifications for their supply is focussed not on product, but on distribution. Eustice said in the same announcement that “there was still not enough capacity to meet the high demand” for online deliveries, which previously forced Ocado to shut its online shop entirely and persists as shoppers able to do so prioritise online food service over going out to stores.

Eustice’s announcement echoes Tesco’s plea for shoppers to come in to supermarkets, both of which must be tempered: The only way for this to lift is for more people who are able to — safely, responsibly — visit supermarkets which — safely, responsibly — protect and pay their workers. [Metro]

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