This post is written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, contemplate.
Tesco’s is the market-leading British supermarket. Actually, there are four or five other biggies, but Tesco has grown to be about the biggest. After that, there are maybe twice as many again smaller chains.
Sunday retail laws (which have not been suspended, but which now seem crazy) stipulate that big shops (such as most Tesco branches) may only open for six hours on a Sunday. The exact hours are flexible, but most retailers (including Tesco) open between 10am and 4pm.
As a result of the virus outbreak and the subsequent wave of panic buying, Tesco announced that they would reserve a special interval exclusively for NHS workers. They set it to Sundays at 9am-10am. They would still observe Sunday Trading laws and open the tills at 10am, but would allow people to browse (i.e. put groceries into their trolley, but not to check out) from 9am.
Because we thought that this time slot represented the best combination of (a) least competition whilst shopping and (b) most groceries being available on the shelves of the supermarket, my wife (who works for the NHS) and I contemplated doing our grocery shopping during this hour. When we arrived, this was the scene that greeted us:
The queue into the shop was 30 minutes, but once in the shop we were able to get what was basically a full week’s grocery shop, including bread and milk. We did not even bother looking for toilet roll. We’re still only buying a week at a time, because that’s the most responsible approach. The exception is cat food, which is also in short supply. And, I don’t dare tell the cats that their breakfast has been cancelled! Even that, we have accumulated maybe a month’s supply, which is not particularly abnormal for us. Lots of humans have died from this virus, but cats will come out of it fatter than ever – provided they learn how to open the packets 😆.
By the time we left the shop, the queue had died down, but equally, the essential goods had mostly been purchased.
The one thing which was pleasant about doing the shopping was that there was a lot less traffic than usual.
If anybody is interested, I will not be posting my usual Who Won the Week post this evening. What’s the point when there is just one thing on the News? So I’m thinking I will suspend that until life gets a little more normal. Equally, it seems dumb to write a post just to say I won’t be writing a post, hence my tagging it onto this post.