Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and M&S update the best time to shop as customer rules change

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Supermarkets have regularly updated shopping rules since the coronavirus lockdown began. Here are the latest updates from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer.

Some supermarket chains have made updates including adjusting opening hours and delivery services.

As the demand for home orders continues to grow, some may notice a change to how many people are in stores at one time.

Google data shows the best time to shop in stores to avoid busy periods.

While this will be different depending on the store and part of the country, there are some times that are generally quieter than others.


The retailer updated its delivery service fee with changes that came into place this month.

The price of slots previously ranged from £2 to £7 with quieter times of the day being the cheapest.

A flat fee was introduced meaning the cost of delivery is now £4.50, regardless of the slot.

While this will be a saving for some, others will be left out of pocket.

If heading to the stores instead, the data shows that shoppers can beat queues by visiting the shops on a weekday.

Heading before 3pm will generally see the store with fewer customers in it.


Asda is trialling a new service which could cut back on the need to head into stores.

Branches in York and Milton Keynes are currently testing a service where George and homeware items can be returned to delivery drivers.

When getting their groceries delivered, shoppers can simply give unwanted items to the colleague dropping them off at no extra charge.

While this change could help free up space in stores, visiting stores before 10am on a weekday is still the quietest time.

Customers can avoid long queues by avoiding the weekend, or shopping after 7pm on a Saturday evening.

Marks and Spencer

M&S has announced a partnership with Ocado where 6,000 products will be on sale through the website.

Marks and Spencer fans will be able to order more items than ever straight to their door.

If visiting M&S Foodhall branches, customers are less likely to wait on a weekday.

Shopping first thing in the morning or around 3pm is when the store could be its quietest.


The supermarket giant has previously explained shelves are restocked throughout the day, meaning customers should be able to get what they want no matter when they go.

However, it suggested customers should avoid the shops first thing in the morning.

Its website states: “The majority of our supermarkets are now open from 07.00 to 22.00 and we encourage you to visit our stores throughout the day to avoid queues when stores open in the morning.”

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