We’ve all seen the images of empty supermarket shelves. No loo paper for love nor money. Yet Britain’s supermarkets are doing a great job adapting to demand, and the need to let people shop while keeping apart, based on my experience at Tesco, Gerrards Cross.
I had a short wait getting into the store, as staff regulated the numbers in the shop. We were offered sanitiser at the entrance, which I used to wipe the trolley handle and my hands.
Once inside, I found everything I needed apart from liquid soap. It was a strangely calm shopping experience with fewer people in the shop. I did feel I needed to get it down quickly to allow others in.
There’s been a lot of talk of stockpiling – and I referred to this in my post last weekend about the British government’s communications response to COVID-19. We may have been too quick to judge: according to Kantar, the empty shelves reflect the fact we’re all adding a few more items to our baskets and making more shopping trips, rather than stockpiling.
PS: this unremarkable Tesco store has an unusual history. It was built over the Chiltern railway line and the tunnel collapsed on the tracks just after my train passed through in 2005.
Thanks for that interesting “boots on the ground” experience, Rob. 🙂
I feel that another reason for the apparent “stockpiling” is simply that restaurants and fast food outlets are now closed, so many like me – retired and living alone – who used to rely on them for most meals, now must patronise supermarkets instead. Naturally that has to increase supermarket traffic substantially.
That’s certainly true, Ian. I’d normally buy a sandwich or salad for lunch four days a week and am now making those lunches at home. And I’m not having a coffee and cake on my bike rides!