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Supermarkets Want Customers in Stores to Ease Pressure on Delivery

Tesco has admitted that it needs shoppers to come in as delivery services buckle

UK supermarkets want customers back in store as food delivery struggles
Social distancing in supermarkets
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Tesco needs its shoppers back

As novel coronavirus sustains its impact on U.K. supermarkets, retailers are moving away from rationing goodsand they want customers to physically come in to buy them. Despite staving off an initial slew of stockpiling that added an extra £2 billion to supermarket sales across the country in March, the BBC reports that Tesco is the first to directly ask customers to come back into its stores, with chief executive Dave Lewis saying that “between 85% and 90% of all food bought will require a visit to a store.”

While food shortages are not expected to pose significant problems, the “stay at home” directive from the government coupled with health fears when visiting supermarkets has caused a surge in home delivery demand that Tesco and many supermarkets cannot sustain. Ocado had to close its app and online shop and is now staggering delivery slots; Iceland needed a 250 percent increase in delivery to sustain demand; smaller markets like Farmdrop operate online queues with fully booked slots.

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. [BBC]

And in other news...



  • U.K. dairy farmers are pouring milk down the drain, as distributor Freshways slowed down distribution in the wake of COVID-19 and left them with product that went bad. This, combined with falling milk prices, will leave some farmers in an untenable position if it continues. [Farmers Weekly]
  • Free-range egg producers are concerned that the supply and demand shift instigated by novel coronavirus will lead to a drop in standards in order to artificially supply demand. [The Grocer]

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