Tesco to give over-65s priority for online delivery slots

Aldi to give frontline staff priority access to supermarkets

Tesco said it was continuing to experience high demand for its home delivery service and was at full capacity for the next three weeks. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Tesco said it was continuing to experience high demand for its home delivery service and was at full capacity for the next three weeks. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Supermarkets have outlined further measures aimed at supporting vulnerable people and helping frontline healthcare workers as the fight to slow the spread of coronavirus continues.

Tesco has moved to offer more support to older people who are cocooning by prioritising online delivery for the over-65s.

The supermarket said it was continuing to experience high demand for its home delivery service and was at full capacity for the next three weeks despite adding over 1,000 employees in its distribution centres, stores and home delivery teams and ramping up its delivery.

From April 13th there will be an extended telephone support for customers over 65 years and in care homes while future order windows for home delivery and collection will be prioritised for customers over 65 and care homes.

In an email to customers it said currently less than one in 20 slots are used by over 65s but they would now have first access. Those not booked by over 65s will be available to others, it said. It said the number of items per order would be limited to 80, excluding care homes.

Meanwhile Marks & Spencer has announced plans to deliver clothes and toiletries to the City West self-isolation facility for patients and will also be donating thousands of sets of thermals to frontline workers at Covid-19 Testing Centres, some of which are outdoors.

It will also making weekly free food donations for HSE workers at the Mater Hospital and St James Hospital in Dublin and Cork University Hospital. The free food donations will include prepared meals and treats with this week’s delivery including 2,000 Easter Eggs for frontline workers and their families.

The retailer’s country manager Ken Scully said healthcare workers on the frontline were “doing an incredible job” and Marks & Spencer wanted “to do whatever we can to support them, in the best way that we can”.

“We really are all in this together and we hope that providing this practical help can make it just a little easier for them through these challenging times,” he said.

Aldi has also announced new measures to ensure frontline staff have prioritised access to its stores.

From Thursday all frontline staff providing essential services will be allowed priority access to stores.

Where Aldi staff are limiting the number of customers in store, frontline staff with a relevant form of ID will be allowed to enter the store as soon as social distancing guidelines permit.

Avoca has also implemented customised shopping services to the elderly and vulnerable and launched a dedicated priority shopping and collection point for frontline staff to avail of nourishing food in a fast and easy manner, while avoiding contact with other customers.

Designated order and collection points are outside the Kilmacanogue and Rathcoole stores for customers in need of a ‘drive by’ pick up service. They can shop everything from the food market such as essential groceries, store cupboard staples and comforting main meals.