Buyers are reminded to shop on their own, cover their faces, and shop sensibly to ensure everyone has access to basic supplies.
In messages to online shoppers, several retailers have reminded customers that couples and families should not shop together as England’s new winter lockdown goes into effect.
Sainsbury’s has reminded customers to shop on their own whenever possible to reduce queues and promote social distancing in its stores.
In a statement, CEO Simon Roberts said, “Whenever possible, we ask that you send only one adult per household when shopping with us.
“It will help us manage the number of people in our stores and make your store faster and smoother. ”
A notice on the supermarket’s website added, “Our store teams will ask groups of more than one adult to pick an adult to do their shopping and have other adults wait.
“Children are welcome if they cannot stay at home. ”
Tesco demanded that “only one person from each household come to the store to do their shopping.”
Waitrose also encourages buyers to visit on their own.
He said this “will help us manage the number of people in our stores by only sending one member of the household to shop.”
The guide adds, “While it may not be possible for everyone, we are very grateful for the support of our customers during this time of uncertainty. ”
Aldi’s current advice states, “In order to help with social distancing, we encourage all customers to try and reduce the number of family members they bring with them to our stores.
“Where necessary, we exercise discretion, but like all supermarkets, we ask people to come alone if possible to support social distancing in our stores. “
These rules have been in place at most of the aforementioned stores since March, but many relaxed their guidelines over the summer.
However, with new lockdown restrictions in England starting November 5, the rules have been reintroduced.
Boris Johnson said it was the only way to avoid grim scientific predictions of 85,000 deaths this winter.
His speech on Saturday sparked a second wave of panic buying across the country.
Supermarkets have urged people not to stock items, but retailers have already warned of scenes reminiscent of March.
Home delivery slots are also filling up quickly, as some stores have had to reintroduce storage restrictions on items such as bread and flour.
“Our stores are restocked every day,” explains a warning on Lidl’s website.
“This item that you want to buy ‘just in case’ might be essential for a more vulnerable person who cannot visit the store multiple times.”
A Tesco spokesperson said, “We have good availability in stores and online, with plenty of stock to shop around, and we encourage our customers to shop normally. ”
Ratula Chakraborty, professor of business management at the University of East Anglia (UEA), said panic buying could “get out of hand” without intervention.
“Unfortunately, some customers go crazy grabbing whatever they can to put in their carts… in turn, that encourages imitating behavior from other buyers,” she said.
“The result is empty shelves and the possibility of an out of control shopping panic. ”
A UK government spokesperson urged shoppers to “show consideration” during the shop.
“As the Prime Minister said on Saturday, essential stores will remain open, so there is no need to stock up. Our message to everyone is that people should be considerate in the way they shop.
“The UK has a very resilient food supply chain that has held up well in the spring, and will do so again.
“We continue to work closely with food retailers and the food industry, as we have done throughout the response to the coronavirus pandemic. They do not report any overall supply issues. ”
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