Published On: Sun, Apr 12th, 2020

Coronavirus latest: Tesco introduces six new changes to supermarket stores

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TESCO has announced six big new changes that it is planning to roll out across its stores as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The company’s CEO Dave Lewis outlined the changes in an e-mail sent out to customers.

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A Tesco store in Wigan. Shoppers may already have noticed some changes. (Image: Paul Ellis / AFP / GETTY)

Some of the changes include added measures to protect customers and staff. Mr Lewis described the current crisis as “difficult for everyone”.

There were six key changes that were announced from last Wednesday.

The changes will also help shoppers planning to find some bargains on Bank Holiday Monday, although people are advised not to leave their homes unless it is essential.

One of the major ones is that Tesco is removing some of its restrictions on how many of certain items can be purchased, due to stock levels returning to normal.

The restrictions will only remain on essential items such as toilet rolls, hand sanitisers and pasta – all of which were in very high demand as panic buying gripped the UK around the beginning of March.

The relaxing on purchasing restrictions has also been introduced by other major supermarkets as well, including Aldi, Morrisons and Waitrose.

Another change that many will already be aware of is the one-in-one-out system that is now in place across many stores, as well as one-way aisles.

Dave Lewis

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis, speaking at a British Chambers of Commerce conference in March 2019. (Image: Jack Taylor / GETTY)

Mr Lewis encouraged shoppers to ask staff when their quietest hours tend to be in order to minimise the time spent queuing.

These quiet periods may differ from store to store, but are reported to be around an hour before closing time, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Another change implemented was the introduction of protective screens around the front and back of checkout tills.

This enables every till to remain open, so that queuing can be minimised even further.

Tesco store

Some of the changes implemented will seek to lower queue times (Image: Paul Ellis / AFP / GETTY)

And in an effort to reduce the need for people to touch card payment machines and speed up transactions, the limit for contactless payments has been increased from the standard £30 up to £45.

This particular change was announced by UK Finance on March 24 and rolled out from April 1, and is not exclusive to Tesco.

UK Finance CEO Stephen Jones said: “The payments industry has been working closely with retailers to be able to increase the contactless payment limit to help customers with their shopping at this critical time for the country.

“This will give more people the choice to opt for the speed and convenience of purchasing goods using their contactless card, helping to cut queues at the checkout.”

And Tesco’s final key change involved home deliveries.

It is reported that Tesco has been given a government list of 110,000 people who have been identified as vulnerable and isolated.

Tesco has identified 75,000 existing customers from this list, and will create home delivery slots for them. More slots are expected to be made available soon.

In addition to the store changes, Mr Lewis said that Tesco employees will see an increased staff discount of 15 percent for a month, in addition to a 10 percent bonus.

The new changes are in addition to previous announcements by Tesco during the lockdown.

The store has announced that the elderly and vulnerable customers will be prioritised between 9am and 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This does not apply to Express stores.

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Tesco has announced more delivery slots to increase home deliveries (Image: Matthew Horwood / GETTY)

Meanwhile, Tesco recently announced that it had scaled up its online shopping delivery service to meet demand.

Tesco’s home delivery capacity has been increased to around 780,000 a week – up from 660,000 two weeks prior, according to Essential Retail.

This is planned to increase even further in a matter of weeks by another 100,000, Mr Lewis has said.



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