Everyday Meals

When is the best time to visit the supermarket amid coronavirus pandemic and stockpiling?

The growing pandemic of the Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has sparked fears across the world. With thousands dead and nearly 200,000 infected globally, Britons are raiding their local supermarkets and stockpiling on essential items leaving shelves empty and bare. But is there a time that is “best” to go shopping?


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Britain’s favourite supermarket chains have been forced to take strict measures amid shopper stockpiling. Supermarkets like Asda, Tesco, and Aldi have even started closing their doors early every day, so that they can restock shelves with essential items overnight, to help deal with the increased demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.

But is there a “best” time to head to the supermarket to get your hands on the items you need?

If a shopper is looking for the best time to shop at their local supermarket, customers can head to Google to find out when it’s most popular with shoppers.

It will show the traffic volumes of people based on an average score, as well as “live” data, but how can you find this information?

Firstly, shoppers will need to enter the supermarket into the search field.

Then they need to click on the desired location – once the location has been set, it will reveal extra data.

A basic blue and pink graph will come up, with the blue line representing the average amount of shoppers entering the store, and the pink shows the number of people in-store at the specific time you’re looking.

Although supermarkets are expected to be busier than average, this tool can be used to help pinpoint what time supermarkets are less busy.

Should you go early in the morning?

Customers who are going into self-isolation are turning up extra early to supermarkets to get ahead of other shoppers.

However, many Britons have also had the same idea over the last couple of days and are also turning up early.

Therefore, even if a shopper does decide to go early in the morning, they need to be prepared to queue.

One bonus of getting in early into a supermarket is that a shopper will have access to a fully overnight-stocked store.


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Should you go late in the evening?

Many shoppers have complained over the last couple of weeks that if a customer ends up going late, stock of essential items may be low, so going late in the evening is a gamble.

Popular essential items like toilet roll, handwash, and antibacterial wipes are high in demand, and while supermarkets say they have lots of stock, they don’t have enough time or staff to replenish everything at once.

However, it’s always worth double-checking because supermarket staff are working around the clock at the moment to get items out on the shop floor.

Shopper tips to get essentials

Be aware of shopper rules and restrictions

Many UK supermarkets have been forced to place temporary item restrictions on essential items to keep up with demand amid the coronavirus crisis, check any item restrictions online before going shopping to avoid disappointment.

Some supermarkets and retailers are giving elderly shoppers access to stores earlier than others so they can complete their shopping.

To see the full list of rules imposed by UK supermarkets – click here

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