Supermarkets say they are better prepared for Scotland’s second lockdown than they were last year.
Bosses at the ‘Big Four’, as well as budget retailers Aldi and Lidl, said they have improved their service to ensure no one is left without while coronavirus restrictions are in place.
Shoppers at supermarkets across Tayside and Fife have reported a return to panic-buying last seen at the start of the first lockdown.
Aldi has introduced temporary buying limits on a small number of products across its UK stores to ensure availability.
Purchases of toilet roll, pasta, flour and eggs will be limited to three of each item.
All up to date information on Aldi’s Covid measures is here.
A spokesman for the company said they had witnessed no problems in their supermarkets as the second lockdown got underway despite pictures of queues on social media,
They added that there had been no evidence of panic buying.
Staff at the firm are working “around the clock” to keep shelves stocked but Asda asked customers not to buy more than they need.
The firm is stepping up its online capacity and doubling the size of its partnership with Uber Eats in the coming weeks.
Asda has increased its online shopping capacity by 90% since last March to 850,000 weekly slots, and expects this to rise to 900,000 slots per week by the start of April.
In the deal with Uber Eats 200 stores will provide a 30-minute delivery service on 350 own-brand products from next month.
Roger Burnley, Asda CEO and President, said: “As Covid restrictions are tightened across the UK to protect our health, we will continue to do all we can to keep colleagues and customers safe in store as we have since the start of the pandemic.
“Our stores and distribution centres have proved to be highly resilient to the challenges of a national lockdown and we are confident that we can continue to deliver choice and value for customers in the weeks ahead. We are asking customers can play their part too by continuing to shop considerately and respecting social distancing when they visit our stores.”
A full list of the measures that are in place at Asda stores can be found here.
A spokeswoman said they had not introduced any new measures for the second lockdown but that individual stores may put restrictions in place if they experience panic buying.
She said: “The most recent announcement has not resulted in any changes for us as we will continue to implement a range of social distancing and Covid-19 secure measures across all of our stores to keep our customers and colleagues safe.
- Positioning designated team members at entrances during peak times to manage the volume of people entering.
- A raft of clear communication reminding customers of the importance of maintaining a two-metre distance from each other when shopping is also in place, including floor markings in stores to mark a safe distance, as well as regular audio announcements.
- Dedicated cleaning stations continue to be made available at store entrances for customers with hand sanitiser, disinfectant and wipes, to use on their trolleys and baskets.
“Whilst supermarkets cannot enforce the wearing of face coverings, the authorities have the power to issue either a fine or fixed penalty to those who do not comply and are not exempt.
“For customers that do not have a face covering, we have them available to purchase in store.
“In addition, we currently have good availability of products in our stores, and as such, there are no restrictions.
“Nonetheless, our policy in response to the changing circumstances is it’s at our store managers discretion, should customers start to bulk-buy, to limit the purchasing of specific items at that store.”
A spokesman for the firm said shielding customers can place orders by phone.
Morrisons is also delivering through Amazon and Deliveroo.
He said: “Since the first lockdown in March, we have increased our online operation fivefold as well as introducing lots of new ways to shop.
“Our click and collect service is now available in 447 of our stores and customers can also use Amazon or Deliveroo.
“Our wide range of Food Boxes can also be delivered directly to your door and customers who are self-isolating can use our Doorstep Delivery service where an order is placed over the phone, and delivered via your local store the next day.”
Tesco introduced safety measures during the first lockdown and keeps them constantly under review.
A spokeswoman said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority.
“We continue to follow all Scottish Government guidance and we have extensive social distancing measures in all of our stores to ensure customers can maintain a safe distance shopping.”
The chain’s stores have a one-in, one-out system to limit the number of people in stores at any time.
They introduced a traffic light system at their supermarkets prior to the second lockdown to let customers know when it is safe to enter and place staff at the door to remind people to wear face coverings.
Tesco has also doubled their online capacity since the start of the coronavirus outbreak and now have around 1.5 million slots each week.
A spokeswoman said: “We have good availability and encourage customers to shop as normal. We aren’t currently restricting products.”
The retailer has more than doubled the number of online grocery delivery slots available since last March.
This means they can take more than 800,000 orders per week across the country.
They have also expanded their contactless click and collect service to over 300 locations.