Sainsbury’s boss issues plea to customers ahead of Christmas shopping rush

Sainsbury's gives update on 'dedicated shopping hours'

Christmas is a particularly busy time for supermarkets, with shoppers rushing to stock up on food and beverages for the festive period, as well as any gifts and stocking fillers. However, this year things are a little different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With December 25 just weeks away, Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts has written an open letter to customers urging them “please shop alone”.

Stores are already limiting the numbers of shoppers allowed inside at any one time to help aid with social distancing.

This means customers may have to spend some time queueing outside.

Now, Mr Roberts is asking customers to try and “shop alone” where possible, to further limit the number of people in store.

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“Help us to serve you quicker, please shop alone,” he stated in his letter.

“We want to help everyone get in and out of our shops quickly and safely. “We are doing everything we can to keep queues as short as possible – and we really appreciate your help with this.

“We are limiting the number of people in our shops at any one time, so please help us to help you by shopping alone where at all possible.

“By shopping on your own, we can help more people to get in and out of our stores much more quickly – which means less time queuing for everyone.”

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However, there is flexibility for those who have children they can not leave at home.

“Of course we understand that some people need support with their shopping and that single parents will need to bring their children,” added Mr Roberts.

In order to ensure supermarkets do not get too busy, “greeters” will be operating outside of shops during busy periods to count customers going in and out.

They will also be asking customers to shop alone where possible.

“Our colleagues have done a phenomenal job this year, working extremely hard in challenging conditions to serve all our customers and help us to feed the nation,” continued the Sainsbury’s boss.

“Please continue to show your support to them over the festive period – they and I would really appreciate it.”

The supermarket has also issued some times of day when they anticipate shops could be busier.

They advise, where possible, customers avoid shopping at peak times.

“We and other retailers have been asking you to shop early to help us serve everyone in the key Christmas weeks,” said Mr Roberts.

“Lots of you have been following this advice and buying Christmas cupboard essentials much earlier than usual.

“Buying these products earlier means you’ll find everything you need and we hope you can then focus on your fresh food shop closer to the day itself.

“Plus, it should help us manage queues better as we get closer to Christmas.

“To thank you for shopping early, you can collect 10x Nectar points when you shop across thousands of Christmas cupboard lines, in store or online, between Friday 4th and Sunday 13th December.”

The supermarket giant is also extending the opening hours of some of its biggest stores in the run-up to Christmas day.

“To help you get everything you need in the final few days before Christmas, we will be opening our stores for longer,” he explained.

“90 percent of our supermarkets will be open from 6am until midnight from Monday 21 until Wednesday 23 December and many others will be open for longer than usual.”

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