Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Ocado sites struggle under panic-buying strain


Grocery store web sites have been feeling the pressure as clients race to guide supply slots after England was plunged into its third nationwide lockdown.

The Sainsbury’s app was below such excessive demand that the retailer needed to quickly restrict entry, whereas there have been almost 15,000 folks queuing on the Ocado web site and others had been reporting issues paying on the Tesco app. 

Customers at some supermarkets noticed empty cabinets final night time and at this time, though chains insisted that they had good availability and common deliveries to their shops.

It follows chaos earlier than the primary lockdown in March when clients began panic shopping for gadgets resembling rest room roll regardless of supermarkets urging folks to be smart. 

Mom-of-three Lucy Margolis tweeted: ‘An ideal abstract of this night: Becoming a member of the Ocado digital queue at place quantity 4,864, ready half an hour to enter, after which being fully unable keep in mind what I wished so as to add to my store.’ 

David Ford from Fleet, Hampshire, mentioned: ‘Simply tried to log onto Ocado to change my weekly present and the app says I’m 3,671 within the queue.’

And Mark Robinson wrote: ‘The one factor growing extra exponentially than Covid circumstances is the queue on the Ocado web site this night.’ 

One other shopper, Carol Walker from Wiltshire, mentioned: ‘Yesterday afternoon I booked an Ocado web store – the earliest slot I may get was Friday, January 19.

What restrictions have supermarkets put in place in the course of the third lockdown in England? 

Asda: No restrictions on shopping for. Security measures embody 1,000 marshals on the entrance of shops and antimicrobial handles on basket and trolley handles

Aldi: No restrictions on shopping for. First hour of enterprise on Tuesdays and Thursdays for susceptible buyers.

Lidl: No restrictions on shopping for, however managers can use their discretion to restrict retailers if panic shopping for is noticed.

Tesco: Shopping for limits of three per individual on merchandise at shops resembling bottled water, pasta and bathroom rolls.

Morrisons: No restrictions regardless of earlier limits imposed. Precedence hour for NHS from 6am six days every week.

Sainsbury’s: No restrictions on shopping for. Precedence for NHS for half an hour from 7.30am on Monday to Saturday.

Marks and Spencer: No restrictions on shopping for. Meals halls inside M&S shops keep open. Employees on doorways monitoring numbers of buyers getting into.

Waitrose: No restrictions on shopping for in retailer, however ‘some caps on a restricted vary of merchandise on’ to assist handle distribution.

‘I had already tried Waitrose they usually had no slots in any respect for the following two weeks – their web site requested buyers to guide a slot however then every web page displaying dates revealed everybody was full.

‘I did my Ocado store on-line final night time earlier than Boris spoke, then later that night, an hour or so after the Authorities announcement, I wished so as to add a few issues to my listing. 

‘I went into the web site and acquired a message telling me ‘you might be in a digital queue – you might be 575 within the queue’. Not surprisingly I gave up and am hoping I will replace my purchasing in a number of days, nevertheless I’m not holding my breath after the best way Ocado’s web site fully crashed for weeks in the course of the first lockdown.’

Kirill Korolyov tweeted a screenshot of empty Sainsbury’s supply slots up till January 12, saying: ‘I’ve Covid. How am I presupposed to eat if there is not any grocery supply for every week, Sainsbury’s?’

Janiede Lang posted a screenshot of 9 substitute gadgets on her order with Sainsbury’s, tweeting: ‘Sainsbury’s. That is unacceptable, particularly in these tough occasions. By no means had so many subs from different supermarkets.’

And Judith Brammer from Cleethorpes mentioned: ‘Completely fed up with the Sainsbury’s app. Supply now arriving with out amendments and I am locked out of my account. Reset password hyperlink arrives three hours later and says it is expired. Nice.’ 

Issues had been additionally reported on the Tesco app, with Nicola Barrett saying: ‘Tesco. I am unable to take a look at my order for tomorrow.. app retains freezing on the last saving modifications… Assist!’

It comes as information revealed at this time that Britons forked out £11.7billion in supermarkets all through December in what was the sector’s busiest month on report. 

Ocado issued a sequence of responses to clients on-line, telling one: ‘I am actually sorry to listen to you are having bother discovering a slot. Regardless of growing our capability by 40 per cent this 12 months, slots are being snapped up rapidly. We’re nonetheless updating our web site each day to point out our availability.’

In one other response to somebody complaining in regards to the queue, it mentioned: ‘We’re sorry for any points you might have skilled while utilizing our service. Our queuing system is there to make sure a easy and seamless expertise while managing demand.’

Sainsbury’s insisted it had good availability and common deliveries to its shops, so it inspired clients to buy as regular.

A spokesman mentioned: ‘We proceed to prioritise susceptible clients for our dwelling supply service and now we have greater than doubled the variety of slots obtainable to our clients since this time final 12 months. Now we are able to ship groceries to over 800,000 clients each week.’

Tesco mentioned there had been no stories from its technical crew of any issues on its web site, and that it had elevated the variety of slots for on-line supply to 1.5million per week.

A Tesco spokesman mentioned: ‘We’ve good availability in shops and on-line, with loads of inventory to go spherical, and we’d encourage our clients to buy as regular.’ 

In the meantime, new information on supermarkets from Kantar revealed the report December helped gross sales soar 11.4 per cent to £32.7billion over the 12 weeks to December 27.

Grocery store buying and selling was boosted by the £4billion that may usually have been spent on foods and drinks exterior the house over the Christmas season.

The report confirmed on-line grocery gross sales accounted for 12.6 per cent of complete spend in December, in contrast with 7.4 per cent in 2019.

Ocado ended the 12 months because the nation’s quickest rising retailer. 

Empty shelves at a Sainsbury's store in St Phillips, Bristol, are pictured this morning

Empty cabinets at a Sainsbury’s retailer in St Phillips, Bristol, are pictured this morning

Some prepared veg options were unavailable at a Sainsbury's store in St Phillips, Bristol, today

Some ready veg choices had been unavailable at a Sainsbury’s retailer in St Phillips, Bristol, at this time

Some baskets at a Sainsbury's in St Phillips, Bristol, were empty when photographed today

Some baskets at a Sainsbury’s in St Phillips, Bristol, had been empty when photographed at this time 

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and shopper perception at Kantar, mentioned: ‘December is at all times an extremely busy time for supermarkets, however take-home grocery purchasing is normally supplemented by celebrations in eating places, pubs and bars – with £4 billion spent on foods and drinks, excluding alcohol, out of the house in the course of the regular festive month.

‘This 12 months, virtually all these meals had been eaten at dwelling and retailers stepped up monumentally to satisfy the surge in demand.’

He added that the port disruption forward of the Brexit deal deadline meant buyers introduced ahead their Christmas purchasing, with Monday December 21 the busiest purchasing day of the 12 months.

New data on supermarkets from Kantar this morning revealed the record December helped sales jump 11.4 per cent. The latest grocery market share is displayed in the graphic above

New information on supermarkets from Kantar this morning revealed the report December helped gross sales soar 11.4 per cent. The most recent grocery market share is displayed within the graphic above

‘Fifteen million households – greater than half the complete inhabitants – visited a grocer sooner or later that day and spent a collective £819 million,’ he mentioned.

‘It is a actual step change from current years when customers have usually accomplished their ‘huge store’ nearer to Christmas Day.’ 

Morrisons was the most effective performer of Britain’s huge 4 grocers with gross sales up 13.1 per cent year-on-year over the 12 weeks. Its market share moved up by 0.1 share factors to 10.4 per cent, its highest stage since June 2019.

Market chief Tesco noticed gross sales progress of 11.1 per cent, adopted by quantity two Sainsbury’s with progress of 10.7 per cent. Walmart-owned Asda, the quantity three, was once more the laggard with progress of seven.8 per cent.

Kantar mentioned grocery inflation was 1.3 per cent for the 12-week interval, with costs rising quickest in markets resembling canned coke, contemporary pork and chilled deserts whereas falling in greens, contemporary beef and bread.

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