Supermarkets were, however, exempted from this order.
Despite a number of social distancing measures implemented by retailers, you can still feel safer by avoiding the periods when queues are likely to be created.
We scanned Google visit data from major Wales supermarkets – including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi – to find the quietest shopping times.
While the models may vary somewhat from store to store, we looked at the general trends for each brand.
Here’s what we found:
In most of Asda’s supercenters, there was a general tendency to busy periods throughout the week.
Between Monday and Friday, the quietest hours were generally 9 am to 11 am. Many stores also show a drop in the late evening, one to two hours before closing.
The busiest hours of the week seem to be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At weekends, the pattern changes somewhat, even if the first hours after opening remain the most silent.
Around noon, attendance increases considerably and remains heaviest until 3 p.m.
The general trend in Sainsbury’s stores on weekdays is that the number of customers increases throughout the day from approximately 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In the evening, as in Asda, there is a noticeable drop in attendance.
At weekends, traffic remains the lowest at the time of opening. It increases steadily until around 1 p.m. before flattening in the late afternoon.
A decline generally follows until closing in the early evening.
In Morrisons, your best bet to avoid the crowds is to stay away from lunchtime shopping.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the supermarket chain experiences one of its busiest periods.
Early departure seems to be the most favorable, with a generally smaller crowd around 9 a.m.
On weekends, Google reports that the 2 p.m. to 1 p.m. period is the busiest time to shop.
If you are not an early riser, at any time from 7 p.m., this is probably the next quietest opportunity.
Buyers heading to Tesco will want to do so before 12 noon, when attendance is nearing its peak.
It then remains relatively consistent, and on the upper side, during the afternoon hours.
The best opportunity, like most of the stores on the list, is early in the day.
If you can arrive at 9 a.m., you can beat the rush and be the first to reach what was stored overnight.
At Aldi, if you can make some time early in the morning or early evening, you are in luck.
The best time to visit seems to be around 9am, as is the case with most other large supermarkets.
Traffic picks up during the week around noon, possibly due to customers shopping for lunch breaks.
If you cannot join the morning cohort, the crowd decreases considerably from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In general, on weekends, you may want to shop outside the window from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., when the crowds are highest.
In Lidl stores across the country, attendance is highest from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
The quieter periods are often 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., with a notable decline also occurring from 7 p.m.
On weekends, trends seem to show that the busiest time is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
If you don’t like the morning calm, anytime after 7pm is your best bet on average.