Tuesday 28 April 2020 3:01 pm

Tesco expands online order capacity to 1m slots a week during coronavirus crisis

Tesco has expanded its online shopping capacity to 1m slots, almost double the number of orders the supermarket was able to fulfil before the coronavirus crisis.

The grocer, which previously had between 500,000 and 600,000 slots available each week, will expand its capacity further to 1.2m orders per week as demand for deliveries continues to soar during the coronavirus lockdown.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in the UK, Tesco has hired 4,000 new drivers and 12,000 new stock pickers to cope with the surge in demand. 

The supermarket has adapted its operating hours to accommodate the spike in online orders. Workers now begin putting online orders together at 2am, with stores opening at the later time of 8am. 

Tesco said the increase in capacity would allow it to offer priority access to the most vulnerable customers. 

Research published this morning by Kantar showed that online sales now account for 10.2 per cent of the grocery market.

Older shoppers, who were previously less inclined to do their food shopping online, have increased their online grocery shopping spend by 94 per cent compared to last year.

Tesco online managing director Chris Poad said: “Now, more than ever, it’s important we do everything we can to help people get access to food, particularly our most vulnerable customers. 

“We’ve rapidly changed our online business to help create more slots for people that need them most – from recruiting thousands of new colleagues to changing the way we pick and pack orders. 

“We know there’s still more we can do and we’ll keep working hard to find ways we can serve even more people through this time.”