Sainsbury’s has closed its cafés, as well as its meat, fish, and pizza counters due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK supermarket chain closed its service counters to free up staff as it deals with unprecedented demand.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said the supermarket will also restrict the number of products customers can purchase. Customers can buy a maximum of three grocery products and two packets of products in high demand. These include items like toilet paper or soap.
Sainsbury’s previously allowed customers to purchase a maximum number of five of its most popular products.
“We have enough food coming into the system, but are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger number of customers,” Coupe said in a letter sent out to customers.
Believed to have originated in a “wet market” in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the coronavirus is now present in more than 150 countries. In response, a number of countries and states have closed their borders and called for state or nationwide lockdowns. Citizens have been urged to stay at home and restaurants and pubs have been ordered to close.
Supermarkets are, of course, remaining open.
Sainsbury’s isn’t the only UK retailer undergoing major adjustments as a result of the pandemic. Many supermarkets have resorted to making changes as demand for products rises amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Stores have experienced shortages of common household items like toilet paper, pasta, canned foods, and frozen vegetables due to stockpiling. As a result, Tesco also restricted the number of items customers can purchase from five to two items on products in high demand.
Aldi UK is only allowing customers to buy four items on all products. “As we have seen unprecedented demand across our range, we will be limiting customer purchases to four units on all products to ensure all of our customers have an opportunity to purchase them,” the chain said on Twitter.
In the U.S., supermarkets are also experiencing high demand. One study revealed earlier this month that oat milk was even more in demand than hand sanitizer. Nielsen Data showed that oat milk sales had increased by 306 percent.