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Coronavirus: Sainsbury's in Balderton launches shopping hour for elderly and vulnerable only

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Sainsbury's has announced that it will reserve an hour of its opening time for elderly and vulnerable customers only in order to support them during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Tomorrow, Thursday March 19, the London Road, Balderton, branch will be open from 8am to 9am for these clientèle only.

A statement released by the company today said: "A number of you suggested that we reserve an hour in stores for elderly and vulnerable customers.

Sainsbury's in Balderton. Picture: Google Maps (31886778)
Sainsbury's in Balderton. Picture: Google Maps (31886778)

"In response to this request, we will set aside the first hour in every supermarket this Thursday, 19th March, for elderly and vulnerable customers. If you or an elderly family member, friend or neighbour would like to shop during this hour, please check online for your local supermarket opening hours.

"For all other customers, supermarkets will open one hour after the published opening time. I hope that you can respect this decision and will work with us as we try our best to help those that need it the most.

"We will also help elderly and vulnerable customers access food online. From Monday, 23rd March, our online customers who are over 70 years of age or have a disability will have priority access to online delivery slots. We will contact these customers in the coming days with more details.

"For any online customer who can travel to our stores, from Monday 23rd March, we will operate an expanded ‘click and collect’ service. We are significantly increasing the number of collection sites across the country over the coming days in preparation for this. Customers can place their order online as usual and pick it up from a collection point in the store car park. Please let us know if you are self-isolating to help us provide this service for you too."

The company also announced that it will be closing in-store cafes and fresh food counters to allow its warehouses to stock more essential items.

Latest information and advice on Coronavirus can be found here.

A Sainsbury's spokesman added: "As we work to feed the nation, we are also focusing all of our efforts on getting as much food and other essential items from our suppliers, into our warehouses and onto shelves as we possibly can. We still have enough food for everyone – if we all just buy what we need for us and our families.

"To help us get more essential items onto the shelves, from this Thursday, 19th March, we will be closing our cafes and our meat, fish and pizza counters in supermarkets. This means we can free up warehouse and lorry capacity for products that customers really need. It will also free up time for our store colleagues to focus on keeping the shelves as well stocked as possible.

"I mentioned last week that we had put limits on a very small number of products. Following feedback from our customers and from our store colleagues, we have decided to put restrictions on a larger number of products.

"From today, 18th March, customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product and a maximum of two on the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk. We have enough food coming into the system, but are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger numbers of customers."

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