Tesco is limiting online shoppers to 80 items per order as part of a plan to increase the number of delivery slots available to vulnerable households.
Supermarket home deliveries usually contain fewer than 60 products but some worried shoppers have been placing orders of more than 100.
To “reach more customers with more deliveries”, Tesco said a new limit of 80 products had been set. It said the change would enable it to get “more orders on to each van, helping us to ensure all customers can get the essentials they need”.
A spokesperson said: “We know that it’s difficult to get a delivery slot for online shopping at the moment due to high demand, and we ask those who are able to safely come to stores to do so so that we can start to free up more slots for the more vulnerable.”
Tesco is launching an ad campaign, Keeping You Safe, to explain the physical distancing measures in its stores. The advert, which will run on TV and social media, was filmed in a Tesco Extra store in Stevenage and is fronted by its employees.
The measures include car park marshals to manage crowds and floor markings to ensure customers stand two metres apart. Like other chains it is encouraging shoppers to pay by card rather than cash.
Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, said: “We felt it was important to help customers understand the changes we’ve made in our stores to keep them safe as they shop. Our aim is to ensure everyone has safe access to the food and essentials they need.”
The government’s order that all non-essential shops should close has resulted in high levels of scrutiny of others still open. On Friday Wilko, the homewares and households goods chain, said it was still trading albeit with reduced opening hours.
Wilko’s chief executive, Jerome Saint-Marc, said: “Not everyone has a large supermarket nearby to get the non-food essentials they need for their family. We’re doing everything possible to protect both our team members and customers when you shop with us.”