Asda to email vulnerable customers so they can book deliveries as it adds 300,000 slots
In an email to customers Asda’s CEO Roger Burnley also announced the launch of a new vulnerable shopping card so that shoppers can avoid using cash when picking up goods for those who are unable to leave the house.
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He said that the government has identified over a million people in England who have conditions that make them vulnerable to coronavirus and has advised them to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
He added: "We have been working closely with the DEFRA and some of our fellow supermarkets for the last couple of weeks to understand how to ensure essentials reach those with no support network.
"Once we’ve received the information from the UK Government, we will email these customers to offer first access to delivery slots, ensuring they get what they need while they stay safe at home.
"We’re also working on similar programmes for customers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."
Supermarket delivery slots are booked up for over two weeks in advance as grocers deal with unprecedented demand for shopping, leaving many without access to food and essential supplies.
He said that staff have been working "around the clock" to expand its home delivery operation increasing the amount of slots available by over 300,000.
In order for it to complete the 700,000 deliveries a week Mr Burnley urged only those most in need to order online.
He said: "That’s why I would ask that where possible, if you are able to go to one of our shops, to please do so."
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Retailers that are allowed to say open during the UK lockdown have been encouraging customers to use cash to help protect their staff.
Asda also announced the launch of a new "vulnerable customer shopping card" to help those who are self-isolating pay for their groceries.
The supermarket said it was in response to people relying on friends and neighbours to get groceries for them.
Customers can buy the card online and top it up with credit – up to a maximum of £150.
They then give it to their volunteer shopper who can use it to buy essential groceries in store.
We've asked Asda whether cash loaded on to the card must be used before a specific date.
Tesco has added 120,000 click and collect slots in order to help meet demand.
Retailers have also limited the amount of shoppers who can go in stores in order to comply with social distancing measures and keep staff safe.
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