Supermarkets warn shoppers could wait more than a week for deliveries as Ocado takes its app offline and Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons are forced to drop rivalries and share vans and depots
- A surge of panic-buying and large orders means online shops are ill-prepared
- Leading supermarkets will work together to ensure shopping is delivered
- But housebound members of the public may have to wait days for their deliveries
- Ocado have had to take their app offline as it struggles with the high demand
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Britain’s major supermarkets have suggested they are ill-prepared for the surge of panic buying and bulk online shopping orders, meaning customers could wait more than a week for deliveries.
With much of the population ordered to stay at home due to coronavirus, Britons are turning to online shopping in a bid to avoid going outside.
Such is the extent of the demand that shops will forego their rivalries and work together to ensure customers receive their deliveries, according to The Times.
And premium online supermarket retailer Ocado emailed its customers on Friday saying their app was being temporarily taken down because of the amount of traffic.
Ocado emailed its customers saying they had taken down their app because it was struggling with the high demand
Shoppers are finding many shelves empty as many have started panic buying long-lasting foods and hygiene products
They said: ‘Due to performance issues driven by continued high demand, we have decided to take our app offline for the time being.
‘We are using this time to improve our infrastructure so that we can return to our normal service levels.
‘In the meantime, please use your mobile, tablet or computer to go to ocado.com and shop on our website instead.’
Supermarket bosses are conceding they may struggle to meet their orders, saying there is a ‘real issue when it comes to thinking this can replicate the supply of physical shops’.
An executive of a leading supermarket revealed: ‘It if comes to an emergency situation for the likes of Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s then we’ll share depots and vans. But there may still be a question of manpower.’
The ability to order online and remain self-isolated may be lost on certain elderly members of the public who may not be so tech-savvy and understand online shopping.
In high-street supermarkets, shoppers have also noticed shelves of dried and tin foods, soaps and toilet roll being completely empty
Analysis shows that Iceland is still offering deliveries for the following day, while many others can deliver on Wednesday at the earliest.
Ocado currently has the longest waiting time with shoppers having to wait 10 days to receive their goods.
In high-street supermarkets, shoppers have also noticed shelves of dried and tin foods, soaps and toilet roll being completely empty.
In the coming days, adverts will appear encouraging people to buy food and supplies for those affected by the virus.
The government will also waive competition law, allowing supermarkets to share data with each other to ensure there is no food shortage.
But bosses of the leading supermarkets have sought to reassure the public there is plenty of food and no need to panic buy.
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