Supermarkets have had to make huge changes to the way they work over the last few months, becoming the “fourth frontline” in the battle against the coronavirus. But while the big chains have had to bring in new measures to keep customers and staff safe, shoppers have also adapted during the lockdown. With many people shielding and others told to stay at home as much as possible, Britons have drastically changed their shopping habits.
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Supermarkets have made huge changes in stores, introducing social distancing markers, perspex screens and hand sanitising stations.
They have also had to limit the number of customers going in to stores at any one time, as well as implementing one-way systems to help reduce the risk of contact.
However, it’s not just inside the stores that has seen significant changes over the last few months during the lockdown.
The guidelines to stay home and the initial trend for stockpiling meant that online grocery deliveries became more in demand than ever before.
Supermarkets have had to provide priority slots to the clinically vulnerable in order to make it fairer for those who can’t get out to buy their essentials.
Many shoppers have reported issues with getting access to a delivery slot as they were quickly booked up by those who can’t, or didn’t want to, risk going into the stores themselves.
The surge in demand led to Tesco temporarily suspending its Delivery Saver plans back in April so that it could cope with the volume of orders.
The subscription-based delivery service means customers can pay a monthly fee to get free delivery on all online shopping orders.
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The money-saving scheme has been on hold while the country was in lockdown, but now that the rules are relaxing, Tesco has announced the service is coming back.
The supermarket announced the good news to its customers in an email, saying: “As you know, we suspended Delivery Saver payments in April, which allowed us to support 580,000 vulnerable customers with 1.1million orders. We couldn’t have done this without your patience and understanding.
“We’re now planning to restart Delivery Saver plans from 1 July.”
The chain is also bringing in a new priority four-week slot view from the same date, which will mean customers on the subscription plans can see a full month of slots before other shoppers – making it more likely they’ll find a convenient slot.
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Shoppers using one of the plans can also get free Click+Collect slots, which the chain said have increased from 660,000 before the pandemic to over 1.3million a week.
It’ll come as good news to those who have struggled to get an online delivery slot over the last few months.
The plans have been on hold for current customers, as well as being closed to new customers who wanted to take advantage of the service.
The current advice on the Tesco website states: “Due to the current exceptional demand for delivery slots caused by COVID-19, we’re temporarily pausing new sign-ups to manage the availability of slots, including making sure there are enough available for our most vulnerable customers.”
The Delivery Saver plans include one that gives access to same-day deliveries, any day deliveries, and mid-week delivery slots.
However, the same-day delivery service will still be unavailable when the plans resume next month, in order to continue to cope with the high demand.
“From 1 July, we’ll be restarting payments for customers on existing Any day or Midweek plans. Payments will remain suspended for Same-day paid plan customers, as same-day deliveries are currently unavailable,” Tesco said.
“We’ll update our website as soon as we’re accepting new Delivery Saver customers,” it added on its website. The Delivery Saver Guarantee eCoupons have also had the expiry dates extended by a year to give customers more time to use them.
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