The kind gesture follows a number of supermarkets across the UK and Ireland introducing the same measures.
Introducing the session tomorrow (March 19), Sainsbury’s will be dedicating their first hour of business to the elderly and most vulnerable only, allowing them to pick up the items they need amid the current stockpiling crisis.
Stores across the nation have been completely emptied by panicked shoppers, who have been stocking up on dried goods such as flour and pasta, as well as necessities such as toilet roll. As a result, other shoppers and the most vulnerable have been left without their daily essentials and stores have been struggling to restock the most essential of items.
Imagine finishing a night shift after 13hrs, getting to @sainsburys to find the shelves completely empty. No food in the shops… no food at home! Please stop panic buying! (Photo shared from another trust) pic.twitter.com/TSPktT7OkC
— Samuel Imber (@Sam_Imber) March 18, 2020
Confirming the news in a statement on social media, Chief Executive Officer Mike Coupe said:
“A number of you suggested that we reserve an hour in stores for elderly and vulnerable customers. In response to this request, we will set aside the first hour in every supermarket this Thursday 19th March, for elderly and vulnerable customers.”
Continuing: “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.”
To help other customers that are able to visit the store, Sainsbury’s are also expanding their click and collect service across more sites, including a car park collection service for those who wish to avoid contact with others as much as possible.
The move comes after an Iceland store in Dublin went viral after opening an hour early to allow their vulnerable customers to shop before the rest of the public.