With the UK still in lockdown and restrictions not being eased for some time, supermarkets continue to limit the number of shoppers in-store at any one time. This means during the busy period, customers can expect to queue outside to allow shoppers inside to socially distance.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing the roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions yesterday, supermarkets are still continuing to enforce their safety restrictions that have been implemented in previous lockdowns.
This includes wearing a face mask, using the sanitisation stations provided and paying by contactless where possible.
Customers are also encouraged to only buy the food they need and to keep a safe distance from other customers in-store.
But when can customers pick up groceries without having to wait in a long queue outside?
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Aldi asks one person per household to shop if possible and explained that it may limit entry at busier times.
Some stores also have extended shopping hours, meaning that it is less likely to be extremely busy at all times.
Aldi updated customers and said: “Our busiest time is between 11am-3pm, so by extending our hours you have more time to shop safely.”
If shoppers wish to shop when it is quiet, the discount retailer states that this is between 7pm-10pm before closing.
Stores are also quite busy between 8am-10am and fairly quiet between 4pm-6pm.
Aldi added: “We remain committed to ensuring the safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority – that’s why we suggest shopping at times when stores are quieter.”
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Supermarket giant Tesco has also extended its opening hours in many stores.
Tesco said: “To help more people shop in-store at times that are quieter or more convenient, we’ve extended the opening hours in many of our shops, although the majority remain closed overnight.”
According to Google data, the quietest time to shop in Tesco is typically early in the morning and late in the evening.
Weekdays also tend to be quieter with the weekends busy throughout the day.
The retailer is also asking customers to shop alone to help reduce the queues outside.
Asda explained that they are changing its opening hours so customers can shop for longer and opening times can be checked online.
The supermarket is also limiting numbers in-stores and staff are positioned on the entrances to help monitor the number of customers entering.
According to Google data, the supermarket is typically quietest just after opening and just before closing, with busy periods in the middle of the day.
Weekdays in the morning is the best time to shop with lunchtimes more busy.
Some stores are also open 24 hours to allow customers to shop when it is quieter.
Like the other supermarkets, Sainsbury’s is also asking shoppers to shop alone and is challenging customers who are shopping in groups.
The supermarket said: “We have also significantly reduced the number of customers allowed in our stores at any one time to ensure social distancing is maintained at all times.”
This may mean at peak times there is a queue outside of stores.
Busier times are typically at the weekend on a Saturday or Sunday with Monday and Tuesday tending to be the best time to shop.
Sainsbury’s is also quieter in the morning and in the evening, similar to the other supermarkets.