In a statement to customers and colleagues, UK CEO Jason Tarry said Tesco's in-store stock levels are still strong but is warning that the retailer may have to starting limiting purchases on some essential items as it grips with further fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tarry lauded the reponse and delivery of its online Click and Collect service, which has doubled to nearly 1.5 million slots per week, along with the safety measures the supermarket has implemented nationwide in its stories during the crisis.
"Last week, we delivered more orders than ever before, and we will continue to increase the number of online slots available," he told Tesco's customers. "There is still high demand for our online service, and we would encourage people who are able to shop in-store to do so, where we have a number of safety measures in place."
As is the case at many retailers throughout the UK, those safety measures include having colleagues at the entrances to ensure shoppers are following COVID safety protocols, as well as providing sanitising and cleaning stations across its stores along with social distance signage. It also reminded customers that failure to wear face masks could result in fines from police.
"We continue to prioritise making our stores as safe as we can, and we are continually looking at new ways to do so – as well as monitoring government guidance to make sure we respond to any changes straightaway," Tarry said.
Tesco has introduced extended hours to help with vulnerable customers but none of its locations operate overnight.
For colleagues, it continues to support them with safety measures such as protective screens at checkout, as well as paid absences for those affected by COVID-19 or those in self-quarantine. One of the more unique and needed programs is giving colleagues facing challenges access to mental health help tools Headspace and SilverCloud. To help ease some of those burdens, Tesco announced further support in its creation of 16,000 new permanent positions.
Tesco understands the value those colleagues are providing during this challenging period. In addition to the critical services they provide in stores, they have been keen to pitch in to support community initiatives. Along with customers, they have helped raise more than £1m for Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
Tesco also recently completely a huge food donation drive to benefit the Trussell Trust and FareShare in the run up to the Thanksgiving break.