Sainsbury’s hopes the move will reduce queues inside and outside shops
Perspex safety screens are being installed in petrol filling station stores
Delivery drivers are no longer accepting unwanted substitutions or processing refunds on the doorstep
Sainsbury’s is reopening petrol filling station outlets and extending opening hours across its supermarkets and c-stores from next week, in an effort to reduce queues inside and outside shops during the coronavirus lockdown.
The business introduced shortened hours during the height of panic-buying to give staff a chance to replenish badly hit shelves, with all large stores open from 8am to 8pm.
Today, CEO Mike Coupe told customers from Monday the vast majority of the chain’s supermarkets would be open from 8am to 10pm. Hours are also being extended in many convenience stores as well, to 10pm or 11pm.
Perspex safety screens are being installed in petrol filling station stores, which will also start to reopen from next week.
As part of its efforts to reduce queuing outside its stores, Sainsbury’s is installing additional protective screens between manned checkouts at 150 of its busiest supermarkets after a successful trial in London.
Coupe also told customers the supermarket was temporarily changing some e-commerce processes to maintain social distancing measures, with delivery drivers no longer accepting unwanted substitutions or processing refunds on the doorstep.
Customers must now call Sainsbury’s to inform the business of any substitutions not wanted, with a refund processed centrally.
“This is only temporary and we are working on a digital process to make this quicker and smoother,” Coupe said. “I apologise for the inconvenience in the meantime and I’ll write again to let you know when the new process is up and running.”
Coupe added: “I know that most of you really appreciate the essential role that our colleagues are playing at the moment to keep the nation fed. Our colleagues are working in really challenging circumstances, constantly trying to balance the need to serve our customers well, to keep shelves stocked and to help people get in and out of shops as quickly as possible.
“We are also asking them to help us keep you safe. Unfortunately, this means they will ask you to queue outside shops when they are busy. Please help us to make our colleagues’ jobs easier by showing them kindness and respect at all times.”