I am writing to update you on recent changes we have made at Sainsbury’s as we continue to adapt our business in line with the latest government guidance.
Removing purchase limits
Very early on in the pandemic, we decided to restrict the number of products people could buy to help products stay on shelf for longer. We have kept this under review as availability of key items has improved and I am pleased to tell you that we have now lifted buying restrictions on all products. The only exception to this is painkillers which are legally restricted to two packets per person.
Keeping you safe
While we do our best to keep you and our colleagues safe, we are also trying very hard to reduce queues, both inside and outside of our stores. To help with this, we have recently extended many of our store opening hours. Customers are now welcome to shop with us at any time during store opening hours, however NHS and care workers will still have priority entry from 7:30am to 8am Monday to Saturday and elderly, vulnerable and disabled customers will still have priority entry from 8am to 9am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
We have also rolled out new customer sanitiser stations in our supermarkets so that customers can sanitise their hands, baskets and trollies at the front of our stores. This is in addition to our colleagues regularly sanitising all of our baskets and trollies before use.
Re-opening our pizza counters
At the start of the pandemic, we closed our food counters as we focused on keeping shelves stocked. We have been keeping this under review and earlier this week we opened pizza counters in some stores, offering customers a limited range of freshly prepared pizzas that are ready to cook. Some of our ready-made hot food self-service stands in convenience stores have also reopened. We will continue reviewing how and when we will open other food counters in stores and we will keep you updated on our plans.
More capacity for online orders
We have prioritised elderly and vulnerable customers throughout the crisis and have offered over 900,000 elderly or vulnerable customers priority access to home delivery slots. Since 22nd March, we have delivered almost four million orders to our elderly and vulnerable customers.
More customers than ever are choosing to use our home delivery and click and collect services when they shop with us. To help more people get access to these services we have been working hard to increase the number of our home delivery and click and collect slots available. We have now nearly doubled this service to over 650,000 orders per week and as a result, more of our existing customers now have access to slots. This means we can now also let new customers register online for home delivery and click and collect slots, allowing more people to receive their groceries at a time that is convenient for them.
I know we have made lots of changes to the way we operate our stores over the last few months to keep you and our colleagues safe. It hasn’t been easy and I know these changes have impacted the way you shop with us. Thank you for your patience and support during this time. Our colleagues have been working around the clock since the start of the pandemic, to provide excellent customer service, keep shelves stocked and to keep you safe when you shop with us. Their commitment and positivity in challenging circumstances has been remarkable and I would like to thank every member of our team for all their hard work and effort in going above and beyond.