Panic-buying Brits leave supermarket shelves bare while hundreds race to Primark

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Panic-buying Brits have stripped supermarkets shelves across the country after Boris Johnson announced England is going back into lockdown.

Pasta, toilet roll, bread and milk were among the goods that shoppers raced to get their hands on today before the new restrictions come into place on Thursday until December 2.

Customers also descended on DIY shops, including IKEA, to stock up while in Grimsby, snaking queues were seen outside a Primark.

One shopper fumed: "They can get lost. I’m not standing around for that length of time."

A Tesco customer added: “I have not seen queues like it since March. I shop every Sunday and there hasn’t been any queues. It is crazy”.

The scenes are similar to a few months ago, when stockpiling Brits left supermarket shelves bare at the start of the first national lockdown.

And it's not just shops seeing customers flock.

Hairdressers have also seen a last-minute surge in bookings.

Shai Greenberg, of Gielly Green Boutique Salon in Marylebone, central London, said: "We've been very busy today and are fully booked tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday.

"We've opened every single slot up and are completely booked up. It's devastating news about another lockdown, we hardly managed to cope with the first lockdown and I fear it will be a death penalty for the industry in many ways."

And Boo Banner-Eve, a colourist at Taylor Taylor London, also said bookings had doubled.

He said: "Speaking to customers in the chair they've said they could have waited a few weeks but they heard there would be changes coming, so they got their hair done this weekend rather than any other time."

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In a move to reassure shoppers – and prevent a repeat of chaotic scenes seen in stores in the early stages of the pandemic – retail chiefs insisted supply chains are stronger than ever.

Urging shoppers to be considerate, the British Retail Consortium said: “Supply chains are stronger than ever before, and we do not anticipate any issues in the availability of food or other goods under the lockdown in England.

"Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would.”

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Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have all now altered rules relating to home deliveries in the wake of Mr Johnson’s announcement.

Tesco's UK & Ireland CEO Jason Tarry stated: "Since the start of the pandemic, we have more than doubled the number of home delivery and Click & Collect slots to 1.5million each week.

"This is to help anyone who is unable to shop in store – especially our more vulnerable customers – to access our online service."

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The retailer is encouraging shoppers to shop in stores if they are able to.

The statement added: "There is still high demand for our online service, and we would encourage people who are able to shop in store to do so, where we have a number of safety measures in place."

Asda has increased their number of delivery slots available to customers, and said in a statement: "We know some customers are opting to shop more online and we've seen a large increase in demand for home delivery.

"Our online business is growing and we do have the capacity to take on more orders – however; we would ask customers who can be flexible in their delivery slots to consider less popular delivery times or opt to Click & Collect.

"Please be assured that all of our drivers are equipped with sanitiser spray so they can continually ensure our delivery operation remains clean and hygienic and totes can be wiped down where necessary."

Sainsbury’s are giving vulnerable customers priority for home deliveries – and their click and collect service and home delivery service has seen slots doubled to 650,000 orders per week.

Cambridgeshire Live also reports that the supermarket giant has already contact 270,000 ‘vulnerable’ customers already listed on their mailing list.

Meanwhile, Morrisons have one-hour delivery slots available seven days a week and has now introduced a new option for those who are self-isolating.

The chain offers a “doorstep delivery” service for customers for those who cannot leave their homes with next-day delivery available to arrive between 10am and 6pm the following day, with a delivery charge of £4.50, reduced to £2 for students, on top of the shopping total – all of which can be paid on arrival.

The delivery charge is removed for those who are elderly or vulnerable.

Morrisons local director Anna Lane said: "This doorstep service will ensure that more people who can’t leave their home to go shopping will be able to get a delivery of affordable food.”

A spokesperson for Asda told Daily Star online that they are not introducing any restrictions on what can be bought in store at this time.

A spokesperson for Tesco encouraged shoppers to show restraint while shopping.

They said: "We have good availability in stores and online, with plenty of stock to go round, and we would encourage our customers to shop as normal."

  • Coronavirus
  • Asda
  • Morrisons
  • Tesco
  • Lockdown

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