Published On: Thu, Mar 26th, 2020

Sainsbury’s delivery: There are not enough slots boss for vulnerable admits


Sainsbury’s changed its delivery rules just hours after the current UK lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday night. During the message the PM urged Britons to use online delivery services where possible.

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, released a statement addressing the concerns.

He told Britons: “We are working hard to increase our online capacity and we are adding more slots in every day. But it is not possible for us to create enough slots to meet the current level of demand.”

The supermarket boss urged members of the public to help elderly and vulnerable neighbours by shopping for them.

He said: “We are seeing communities come together to work on this issue.

“We know that many people who are able to come into a store to shop are also shopping for others who can’t access food online or get to a shop.

“We want to encourage and support this. If everyone who shops in store also shops for a person who is less able, it will go a long way towards getting food to everyone who needs it.”

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Despite elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers having priority to all of Sainsbury’s delivery slots, the boss reveals there is not enough to go around.

“Our customer Careline has been inundated with requests from elderly and vulnerable customers – we have had one year’s worth of contacts in two weeks,” the message went on.

“We have proactively contacted 270,000 customers who had already given us information that meant we could identify them as being in these groups. Our customer Careline is working at full capacity to help other customers within these groups and we are able to give an additional 8,000 customers a day access to delivery slots over the phone. We have already booked in slots for 115,000 elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers this week and this number is growing every day.”

The boss added the company will be receiving the government database this week to help them further identify the most vulnerable in the nation.

Yesterday Express.co.uk spoke to a number of vulnerable Britons who were desperately trying to get precious delivery slots so they could eat. 

One 59-year-old man who who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease (COAD), brochitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and uses an electric wheelchair told Express.co.uk: “Rheumatoid arthritis has taken my knuckles so I can’t use my hands. I have nobody to help, no family, no friends. My next door neighbours are both 80 with bad illness themselves.

“I have rang 0800 328 1700 to get help from Sainsbury’s from 8 am to 8 pm for four days.

“I have also been looking online to put order in for then next day coming on but slots are full, this is everyday.”

Heartbreakingly, he told Express.co.uk: “Right now I am eating food I have but eating very little each day to make it last.

“I have a dog that need foods I am giving her my meat and I’m having just two eggs or a handful of frozen chips.”

All supermarkets are struggling under the huge weight of the coronavirus.

Tesco has no delivery slots available online, while Waitrose has said all its slots are unavailable.

Online supermarket Ocado is taking no new customers, and existing customers must sit in a queue of up to 9,000 to log on, before sitting in anther queue to shop and check out.



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