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UK's Sainsbury's to limit customer purchases, close cafes to get through coronavirus

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UK's Sainsbury's to limit customer purchases, close cafes to get through coronavirus

By James Davey

 

2020-03-18T000341Z_1_LYNXMPEG2H006_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN.JPG

Empty shelves are seen at a Sainsbury's store in south London as the numbers of coronavirus cases continues to rise around the world, in London, Britain March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Reade Levinson

 

LONDON (Reuters) - British supermarket group Sainsbury's <SBRY.L> is to restrict customer purchases to combat panic buying, close its in-store cafes and counters and beef-up online services to get it through the coronavirus crisis, it said on Wednesday.

 

The UK grocery industry has struggled for over a week to keep shelves stocked in the face of intense panic buying, which got worse on Tuesday despite weekend appeals for calm from supermarket bosses and politicians.

 

In a letter to customers, Sainsbury's Chief Executive Mike Coupe said that from Wednesday customers would be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product and a maximum of two of the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk.

 

"We have enough food coming into the system, but are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger numbers of customers," he said.

 

Aldi on Monday became the first UK grocer to introduce rationing, limiting customers to buying four items of any one product during each visit.

From Thursday, Sainsbury's will be closing its cafes and its meat, fish and pizza counters in supermarkets.

 

"This means we can free up warehouse and lorry capacity for products that customers really need. It will also free up time for our store colleagues to focus on keeping the shelves as well stocked as possible," said Coupe.

 

From Monday, the group will operate an expanded ‘click and collect’ service, with a significant increase in the number of collection sites across the UK.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday shut down social life in Britain and advised the most vulnerable to isolate for 12 weeks.

 

Sainsbury's also plans to reserve hours in stores specifically for the elderly and vulnerable and will give customers who are over 70 or have a disability priority access to online delivery slots.

 

The group said in January that Coupe would step down as CEO on May 31 and be succeeded by Simon Roberts, the group’s current retail and operations director.

 

However, with UK health authorities predicting the peak of the virus is 10 to 14 weeks away there has been speculation he will defer his retirement.

 

On Tuesday rival Morrisons <MRW.L> said it plans to create 3,500 new jobs and expand its home delivery operation to help it deal with coronavirus.

 

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-03-18
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The UK and the US are leading the madness. With France not long after. But I guess it´s a scar from the alliance of war.

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About time, too (that they limit the items per customer).  It's not rationing;  for decades, most stores in N America have put items on sale while stipulating that it's only 4 or something per customer.

 

But it will be interesting to see how global culture will change now that millions of people will have come to accept limitations on their conduct in peace time.  It should have the effect of dampening "populism", where people can gather together and express their resistance to laws being enacted by the "elite."  

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When I suggested shopping online as an alternative to elderly relatives in UK I was surprised to hear there's a three week waiting list! 🙄

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13 hours ago, evadgib said:

When I suggested shopping online as an alternative to elderly relatives in UK I was surprised to hear there's a three week waiting list! 🙄

As of today it is 7 days but priority given to the elderly , disabled and at risk.

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14 hours ago, blazes said:

It should have the effect of dampening "populism", where people can gather together and express their resistance to laws being enacted by the "elite."  

or  go the  otherway  entirely

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21 hours ago, Laughing Gravy said:

It is sad that the mentality of people today in the UK and in the world in general is all about me , me  and me.

its  the  narcissistic world which  i  take  no  part  in

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Laughing Gravy said:

The community compassion and spirit has gone. In the 1960s and 1970s I could name every single person in the street and beyond

not  only  that but they used to have a pride in their  homes and maintained them well, kept  lawns  tidy etc, now many do  <deleted>  all to their  houses preferring unlimited  trips  abroad as way  more  important

Edited by Chazar
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8 hours ago, joecoolfrog said:

As of today it is 7 days but priority given to the elderly , disabled and at risk.

Thanks. M&S have just emailed to say they're stepping up home deliveries too although there was no mention of an actual timeframe. We (Thailand) could use this to send Red Cross parcels to elderly relatives if need be.

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11 minutes ago, Orton Rd said:

Last time I lived in the UK I could still name every bloke in the street- Mohammad🙄

 

This has got to be the best post of 2020!  Not too often I lol on this site!

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