Covid-19: Sainsbury's approaching 600,000 weekly delivery slots

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s will have circa 600,000 delivery and click & collect spots available by the end of next week, according to its CEO, Mike Coupe.

In his latest correspondence to customers during the continuing coronavirus crisis, Coupe said the retailer has almost doubled the number of weekly delivery slots over the last fortnight.

Tesco announced on Tuesday (31 March) that it had increased its available weekly delivery and click & collect slots to 780,000, meaning that by the end of the next week the UK’s two largest retailers will be able to offer 1.38 million weekly online delivery slots between them.

The rest of the market, which includes Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Iceland, and the Co-operative groups, have also all upped their eCommerce game in recent weeks to meet growing demand. The latest figures from industry intelligence group, Kantar, show that March was the biggest month on record in terms of UK grocery sales, as people stocked up ahead of the government-advised lockdown.

“We are continuing to prioritise elderly and vulnerable customers for online delivery slots and our customer careline has helped 170,000 customers, who will now get priority access to online delivery,” Coupe said in his customer email, adding that priority booking has been offered to more than 450,000 elderly or vulnerable customers.

“I apologise to customers who have been struggling to get through to our online team. The team is working at full capacity and we are doing our very best to get to people as quickly as possible.”

Two weeks ago Sainsbury’s offered 370,000 online and click & collect slots a week.

Coupe also revealed that some of the restrictions it has placed on buying products will be lifted on Sunday. He said, as stock continues to build in the aftermath of the huge demand on supermarkets at the onset of the coronavirus crisis in the UK, rules are now being relaxed.

“Limits will remain in place on the most popular items which include UHT milk, pasta and tinned tomatoes,” he explained.

“We have removed limits from Easter eggs immediately as we know families often want to buy more than three and we have plenty of these in all stores and online."