Sainsburys cancelled my weekly delivery this evening so I need to go shopping for myself and family. I can go immediately after the over 70’s hour tomorrow, but does anyone have any info on how levels of stock & busyness at Bell Green and FH were this morning or are likely to be tomorrow?
Which Sainsbury’s to visit tomorrow
My advice would be to go to the convenience stores in either Honor oak or East Dulwich. The bigger stores have been much harder hit and will take longer to recover. It will also help take the pressure off of the bigger stores if more people did this.
I think the idiots who are stockpiling have also realised this based on my local convenience store.
Based on my visit to FH early this afternoon unless they’ve had a large delivery since then and actually got it out on the shelves I wouldn’t rely on them having enough for a lunchtime snack let alone a weekly shop! There were empty shelves everywhere and I only got 2 of the several items I wanted!
Honestly if you can avoid a supermarket I would.
The other day when the water went off I decided to go further afield because I knew everyone would be rushing on bottled water (luckily I had the car) and went to a Londis in SE13.
You’d never know about the carnage in the supermarkets, it was well stocked with EVERYTHING. Not a bare shelf in sight.
You’d have to hope the hoarders and panic buyers will soon start to run out of space for all this panic buying they’ve been doing and it’ll even out.
I went to bell green this morning - I did a weekly shop without too much issue (but a bit of flexibility) - no flour or beans though. It was busy but I didn’t see much unusual behaviour.
That’s really bad news that they cancelled your delivery. I’ve been going online every day to try to book a delivery - ideally for a week or sos time. No slots available, which is understandable in these times. But for a regular customer to just be dumped out without offering you an alternative slot seems a bit harsh. So much for sensibly planning ahead!
There seems no middle ground between hoarding and going without.
I think I must have the most desirable asset right now in my guaranteed Ocado delivery slot…
There is every chance those hoarding may run out of space or money soon.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the hoarders start peddling their wares at inflated prices on an ongoing basis.
Nice to know @Beige!
Just been to Bell Green Sainsbury’s myself. It’s in a bit of a sorry state with lots of empty shelves in unexpected areas (who knew home baking was in such demand?), but there’s fruit and veg and while you might not be able to get your exact shopping list, there’s enough that you won’t starve if you are happy with 2nd or 3rd choices.
They are playing announcements every few minutes to remind people to only take what they need within the imposed limits, and it felt quite calm with little queuing at the tills.
I had to buy Cornish sea salt flakes because all the Maldon salt is with hoarders!!
More fool the hoarders as everyone knows that Cornish salt is saltier than Maldon salt anyway!!
There is certainly a lot of hoarding and panic buying going on which will hopefully stop.
There is however another side to it. With more people working from home there is a massive shift in custom from food outlets in Central London to supermarkets where people live. While the shelves in Bell Green are empty, those at Pret etc. in the City will be full to the brim (if the stores are still open that is). This is a logistical nightmare to sort out which I reckon will take some time.
So I think even without any hoarding or panic buying we would see similar levels of shortage, with all the supply chains being fine-tuned to demand and just-in-time principles.
I obviously can’t speak for London but here in Norfolk my local town seems to have eased up on the panic buying. There are still shortages of some items but fresh fruit and veg are available and whilst the was no chicken at all on Wednesday the meat counters were full. Some days the chicken is full and the meat not. What we are now doing is going to the shops not with a list or a recipe in mind but to see what there is and work with that. I realise the demographic in London is quite different but hopefully people will run out of space and or money to stockpile or cotton onto the fact that there is not a shortage of food overall, just a shortage of brains.
What is wrong with people? Do they not have a baseline of store cupboard and freezer essentials?
Yes I know some people have limited incomes and space that preclude keeping a well stocked cupboard and freezer, but plenty of people have no excuse.
Supermarket trolleys are gross at the best of times. Despite getting some mocking looks, I’d gotten into the routine of wiping the hand bar with a wet wipe long before coronavirus but I now realize I was doing nothing to combat any virus on there.
The worst are those plastic baskets in Lidl, which don’t look as if they’ve ever been cleaned.
Cheese, meat, eggs, fruit. eg bread etc at the Horniman Farmers Market today until 1. And you get a good blast of air whilst you’re at it.
Farmers market is a good tip, especially to support local small business. I live behind Sainsbury’s FH and they had trucks queuing to unload this morning from about 8am, not only did I see them but they were running the diesel coolers at high power, so plenty of noise signalling their arrival.
What is the social distancing like now? It doesn’t seem to be working here, I must practice my staring! Had to ask someone to step back on Thursday, they were so close if felt I may have to offer them a marriage proposal. Got annoyed with me until I told them that not only was in shopping for my 90 year old father in law but also for my elderly neighbors #vegnotvirus
The panic buying took a week to die down in other countries after lock down. So should clear up towards the end of this week.
Best bet is the smaller supermarkets not near car parks. All the hoarders will obviously go to Bell Green becsuse it has a huge car park.
I wouldn’t normally post FB here but this was from three hours ago…
I won’t say too much but I work at Sainsbury’s HQ and I think we’ve turned the corner in the last 48hrs. Thing are slowing down and stock levels improving. Not everywhere of course but it’s a general trend.
I think it could be better. I didn’t go anywhere busy, just jogging past the Sainsbury’s, but while it was quiet elsewhere the people I did see didn’t appear to be keeping particularly apart from other groups.
And what if, in these unprecedented times, they said ‘yes’?!
You know, I have no idea what I would have done apart from shuffle away as quickly as possible
My wife went out yesterday and bought some bits and pieces (not all we wanted) and there were families out shopping like it was an outing! Regardless, she reported that most things were available, so the panic buying seems to be easing off. It’s been going on for over 2 weeks, so I’m not sure where people are storing all this pasta and beans.
My wife is a childminder and we’ve gone from having 6-7 kids in the house most days to having 2-3, so we may be accidentally overstocked on some things, but I’m still annoyed that I can’t get an online shop for weeks.
Same boat… but now wondering if perhaps the best thing for me to do would be for me to go shopping alone once a week - this would leave one more delivery slot for those that need it more than me.
I am shopping for all the local elderly and those who are self isolating as many cannot get a home delivery slot for 2 to 3 weeks. I think this will save slots as you mentioned and keep more people away from danger. Sadly though this situation has not got through to a lot of people judging by the amount of, mainly elderly, people out today. One of them told me I was rediculous as I was wearing a mask, gloves and glasses. Some people just don’t get it.
Can confirm, just went to FH sainsbury’s, much better stocked than a week ago. Not everything, but plenty of fruit veg, fish, some meat…and much less crowded. Looks like the situation really calms down now.
I wish your bosses would consider staggering the shopping - restricting entry to pre-booked time slots maybe bookable online (although they would have to suppress multiple bookings). I can’t get anyone to deliver and I don’t want to go shopping anywhere busy. I feel like I’m risking my life anytime I go to buy food.
Can you see if a neighbour can go for you or try one of the mutual aid groups that have organised locally?
Well NHS advice is unless you are trained how to use that kind of PPE and fitted for a mask then it offers little to no protection except for stopping you touching your face. Think about how often you wash/sanitise your hands, are you changing ans disposing of gloves that regularly?
Trained to use it and dispose of gloves and wash down with a 5% bleach solution.
The thing is, I live in an area with many many old people. If I don’t help they are stuffed. 3 weeks for a delivery from the major supermarkets. Most have food to last a while as most are older country folk so used to having a larder, but some don’t. I face a choice, don’t help, or do. I choose to help.
And I thank you for that! My dad is in a rural area - he is not in the very vulnerable group ,(very fit and well but a smidge over 70) but am very very glad there are people like you willing to help when I can’t.
Hi James any chance you could give your bosses a nudge that people can’t get through to register as vulnerable? There are lots of Twitter requests for Sainsburys to respond.
There doesn’t seem to be any info online as to what evidence people need to supply to prove their vulnerability, so I’m thinking a lot of these calls could end in frustration if people have to go away and compile evidence, then be faced with trying to get through yet again.
Although I work for Sainsbury’s in the area, I avoid getting involved in discussions about us on here for obvious reasons.
These are trying times at the moment but shop staff are suffering abuse from a tiny amount of customers. Yesterday a colleague was racially abused and today her sister was called a bitch because we’d run out of eggs.
If you pop into your local supermarket, please give the staff a friendly smile and pass the time of day? Kindliness and friendliness has been appreciated by us all and gives us a lift while we try to provide an essential service.
That’s awful, @Meadow, really sorry to hear staff are having to deal with abuse, on top of all the chaos. You’re doing an amazing job, keep it up!
Hi, I’ve asked the question re evidence so will come back to you. The phone lines are incredibly busy, taking 65k calls between 8am and 10am. We’d normally handle around 8k in a whole day. Additional resource is being put in place to handle the calls so things should improve fairly quickly.
That is shocking and anyone doing that should be made to leave the store. You guys are all doing an amazing job and we are all grateful for your hard work.
Lol Hannah I saw your post earlier pre edit and thought you were calling your dad fat!
Thanks so much James. Much appreciated.
Our local Morrisons now has the Manager patrolling the check outs. Any abuse to staff and the customers are thrown out without their food.
I’m not involved in the grocery side of our business but have heard a lot of stories of customers being incredibly rude or abusive to people trying to stock shelves etc. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that it seems to be those who aren’t recognised as regulars who are the worst culprits.
There are also lots of lovely comments but the mean ones seem to linger a bit longer in the mind.
It’s a really stressful time for our key workers. On one hand, the government is rightly emphasising the seriousness and encouraging everyone to stay home… while blithely assuring key workers that they’ll all be fine and continue to go to work.
That is so unnecessary isn’t it? It is not your fault if there are no eggs, people need to look at their own behaviour.
I would like to say thank you for all your hard work & dedication.
I did today - we have a sudden guest with us so needed a quick shop. I am so grateful for these people making sure we all have some sort of access to the essentials and some of them looked out on their feet.
I tried to smile and say thanks!
Excellent and so they should be thrown out maybe with the trash for being so trashy. I totally respect the retailers at this time. No need to be so rude.
Elderly people do actually “get it” but if you have no one to bring you shopping and can’t get a delivery what else are you supposed to do but go yourself?
Thank you all for your kind words. Yes, my colleagues are working incredibly hard especially as some colleagues have taken the opportunity - with Sainsbury’s blessing - to self isolate for the sake of themselves and their families.
Me? I’m in isolation too as a member of my household worked until Friday with a colleague that went down with the virus. I don’t want to risk passing it on to customers or colleagues. As soon as the incubation period has passed I’ll be back on the shopfloor with a smile and a bit of banter which is the norm for me.
How about go, but don’t tell others they look ridiculous for “wearing a mask, gloves and glasses”.
I understand that but being abused by an elderly person because I was wearing a mask and observing social distancing and being told “this is all nonsense”. Seeing groups of elderly people hugging and shaking hands and having a good old chat. Couples out shopping like it is a normal day. Now, before I get shot down, these are only isolated cases and not limited to elderly people. It is representative and what I saw at that time. The reason I go out is to try and stop those most vulnerable, the elderly or people with underlying health conditions, from having to go out.
Well said Meadow & thank you & your colleagues for all your unwavering hard work.
This situation certainly brings out the worst in some people and the best in others.
I personally have made a real effort to thank the Staff in London road Sainsbury
I think they’re doing an amazing job just keeping the shelves stocked in any way at all and just by being there when staff numbers must be depleted.
I must say I’m so grateful to have this valuable resource at the end of my road as are my neighbours.
You guys are doing a brilliant job in testing times I realise as I’m sure we all do that it isn’t the shop floor staffs fault when theres no loo roll or pasta or whatever.
On behalf of us all
Good morning all, I passed Sainsbury’s Forest Hill yesterday and noticed a queue outside, some were even social distancing in this queue which was a welcome sight. I think people were being let in a few at a time.
Pardon me if this has been mentioned already, but is this happening at Bell Green Sainsbury’s also?
Relieved to see this being implemented and sincere thanks to all Key workers helping us during the last few weeks.
Sainsbury’s introduced this recently. There was an email this morning.
Sainsburys have changed their online system yet again. It seems as of today you can only book an online shop if you’re already registered as vulnerable. In theory it’s possible to register but the Sainsburys helpline appears to have been shut down and whereas yesterday the phone number was listed, now you have to register at gov.uk. There is a link on the Sainsbury website that takes you straight to the gov.uk registration page. But that only works if you’re on the narrow list of conditions that mean you’re in the “shielded” group. For instance, heart failure, where part of the battle is to prevent your lungs filling with fluid, is not on the list.
There is also a note on the Sainsbury site asking that people pay for goods by card, not cash. So I don’t know how the local volunteers get round this when shopping for the housebound.
I pay by contactless when picking up the goods and then the people I deliver to pay me straight into my account so no money has to change hands (which is a moot point as I have handed over a box of goods which they will handle, I recommend that where possible they wipe everything down with a 5% black solution as soon as they can and I wear a mask and gloves). For those without the ability to do online banking I just tally it up and will take payment when this is over.
Was in there today.
queuing system very civilised and efficient and the markers to distance those waiting at the check out very welcome.
Once again I would like to say how grateful I am to the staff and management of London Road Sainsburys for doing such a good job in these difficult times.
I’m going to need to nip out for some fresh items in the next few days (milk, eggs, fruit, veg, flour and perhaps some chicken). Live near the Horniman so Sainsbury’s London Road or FH Supermarket or Co-op on Forest Hill Road are probably my best walkable options.
Anyone got any tips on the best time of day to go to either avoid queues and/or have best availability so I can limit how many times i have to go?
I was there around 1.30pm today - maybe 10 people in the queue, maybe 10 min wait. All very civilised. No eggs, but aside from that pretty good all round. (no peanut butter but hey ok nevermind). Checkout queues longer than the queue outside as they have every other self checkout taped up for distancing.
I cycled down Peckham Rye though for my ‘daily exercise’ and all the local markets there looked really well stocked. I’m going to try to get some eggs tomorrow! Fun times
Down Peckham Rye is always better than back up Forest Hill Road
Thanks for that - sounds like it’s much improved from the havoc of past weeks. Other option is to see if the Horniman market is on this Sunday and then get anything else on Monday if not.
Don’t forget Tesco Express on London Road as well.
Corona has always been a pretty good seller in our store. In fact booze in general has been a good seller. They like their alcohol in Honor Oak Park.
One of our problems recently has been that food supply has rightly been prioritised and we haven’t received as much booze. Our wine (particularly Prosecco), craft beer and spirits are in short supply - or they were when I was last in.
Good news, no sign of the virus Chez Meadow so I should be back on the retail coalface on Sunday, using yet another rail replacement bus.
Oh, and if you weren’t aware, we’re on revised hours, opening at 7am and closing at 9pm.
Has anyone been to Bell Green or Forest Hill Sainsburys since queueing came in? Just interested in how long it took to get in to the store. Thanks!
This is a very good question and would love to hear from others about it. I can be flexible about when I go so would like to spend less time waiting, but given whats going on atm I don’t have much idea WHEN is best to go.
I went to Bell Green at 9:10 yesterday (Friday). I queued outside for 30 mins. When I left at around 11am the queue looked about 50% longer (so I’d estimate 45 mins).
I’ve just come back from the Bell Green Sainsbury’s. I joined the back of the queue, which was level with Aldi along ‘bus road’, at 11am. I was in the store at 11:10 - 11:15am. It was very well planned and managed. Everyone kept their distance. They let a few out, then let a few in. I got everything I needed, including eggs!
I went Sainsbury’s FH around 11am on Friday there was a queue, but I went in after 10 - 15 mins. A man behind me was smoking all the way and smoke all came to me due to wind, so I do not know which is more ‘safe’ being standing in front of a heavy smoker for 10 mins queuing or shopping in a little more crowded shop under 10 mins inside.
When I came out around 11.30 ish, there was no queue any more. I should say, once inside, it was very easy to shop, there were eggs, toilet papers. But still no sign of red wine except a tiny number of house red range.
I used a self-checkout, but it can be a little frustrating to wait for approval some products or weight of products are often wrong. I saw a customer who did not have a clue how to use a self-checkout, so a sainsbury lady needed to put through most of the shopping for her, which probably not very productive nor good social distancing practice.
I queued yesterday morning for 9am opening. Queuing was very well organised and went smoothly. Inside there’s such an improvement.
Huge thanks to Sainsbury’s & their wonderful staff at Bell Green.
The difference between shopping this week and last was massive. It was calm, people were social distancing & there was food!
Well done, and thank you for coming to work.
Sainsbury’s Forest Hill today introduced a one adult only policy and are giving each customer hand santiser on their hands as they walk in.
Seems generally sensible though not sure what how single parents would shop on that basis, with the current policy of not basically having anyone look after your kids - unless you mean just one adult with kids.
Yes the latter. Children are clearly not adults.
As I left, they stopped a couple from coming in, from what I heard because they don’t live together, so they may have some discretion if you live in the same household.
Went to the Lower Sydenham Sainsbury’s yesterday around 12:30. There were no queues outside, most shelves were fully stocked up with the exception of pasta and flour. I had a feeling that it was better stocked than in pre-Covid times. If something was running out staff was very quick to replenish. Also very quiet inside which felt strange but at the same time calming and relaxing. No queues at the self-scan tills, 2-3 people on the ‘normal’ tills. Overall, positively surprised and great thanks to all the Sainsbury’s staff!
FH Sainsbury’s now sensibly have perspex shiels at the check out. And are clearly recruiting - the young man serving me was only on his second day.
Does anyone know whether HOP Sainsbury’s have Perspex screens yet and if they are operating a one in one out queuing system? Given how rammed and cramped it normally is I’m a bit nervous visiting at this time
Looks like the perspex screens were installed over the weekend as Dog Kennel Hill had them in on Saturday and I saw them in use on Sunday at FH.
Yup, screens up in FH, plenty of new faces and ALL the checkouts were open right down to the end. Impressed. Almost everything back in stock, just craving eggs now.
There were a couple of packs of quails’ eggs so thought I’d pretend we were having people round!
Blimey - I can’t remember the last time I saw all the checkouts open at Sainsbury’s FH!
We have screens and it’s one in, one out.
Loads of eggs in Aldi
Ayres Bakery in Nunhead were selling eggs on Saturday. And flour.
Went to Aldi at Bell Green at 12 noon today - had to queue outside for 45mins but once inside was totally fine, everyone calm and 90% stock on the shelves
London Road Sainsburys had eggs today. Or at least, they did at 1130!
Was pleasantly surprised… tinned veg, pasta, loo rolls and spices looked a bit sparse but if you were flexible, you’d get something. Kitchen rolls and flour was bare… I’ve had to put Sammy Sourdough into the fridge to hibernate as I’m now out of flour entirely.
Got pretty much everything I went for except I forgot to pick up celery… muppet!
We now have good stock of bread, meat, milk and fresh fruit and vegetables. These aren’t limited unless you go mad. Rice, pasta, cans of meat/fish/veg and loo rolls are coming through in small amounts and are limited to two per customer. Booze is in short supply and customers are limited to no more than two of any specific item. Eggs are limited to a maximum of a dozen per customer.
The morning purchase period for elderly and vulnerable customers doesn’t apply in convenience stores so unfortunately they will have to wait their turn. Those people will also have to wait their turn the rest of the day as I patiently explained to the gentleman who shoved his freedom pass in my face and demanded to be let in first.
On the upside, most customers have been extremely understanding about queuing and have been extremely friendly, including those who normally don’t engage. A regular bought me a bunch of flowers this evening - not a request BTW, I don’t have many vases.
Thanks Meadow. You and your colleagues acorss all the supermarkets have been all amazing during this.
I really hope that when this is over the supermarkets and the government give you all the recognition you deserve.
Thanks for the update @Meadow. I’m not a regular in the HOP Sainsburys but have always found the staff to be very helpful and pleasant to speak with each time I’ve been in over the years.
I’m glad in the present circumstances the majority of people are showing you and your colleagues the respect you deserve. I’m sorry that occurred with you and the older gentleman, I suspect misunderstanding on his part and perhaps some nervousness on his behalf. I don’t think it would be the worst thing if the store manager could see if priority could be given to vulnerable people in the queue at that time (or times when larger stores have dedicated times) - I suspect most people would be fine with it, especially if it was signposted outside - just an idea.
Either way thank you and your staff for keeping things running and enjoy the flowers!
Went to Forest Hill Sainsbury’s today. While there was a queue, I only waited 5 mins to get in. They had loo rolls, but kitchen towels are in short supply unless you like the Sainsbury’s House 247 single rolls.
Tonight was not good. Although the vast majority of customers have been wonderful and grateful, one soured my shift.
Sainsburys and other retailers have voluntarily allocated priority times to the NHS, vulnerable people and carers. Unfortunately this does not apply to convenience stores. A carer turned up at 7pm demanding to jump a very long queue and shouting in my face. The duty manager took charge and dealt with him. His purchase? A bottle of whisky.
However, this is opposite the store.
I heard Sydenham sains is shut due to a power cut - is that true?
Was closed. Now reopened.
I’ve been to both Bell Green and FH Sainsbury’s this week. BG is easier to keep your distance from others in as it’s a much bigger store and managed to find some lovely luxuries like mini Stroopwaffels and aged Gouda. FH seems to be running on a much more basic range and we missed a lot of items hence visit to BG. Queueing working well in both cases and staff were lovely and helpful.
I really feel for the fab staff at the HOP Sainsbury’s - it is virtually impossible to keep your distance with such narrow aisles and some shoppers just don’t seem to care.
It’s not easy but we’re coping. Most of our customers have been fantastic and understanding. Horrible to say but I’ve mostly enjoyed this lock down because our mostly great customers have given us space to breathe.
Got to say my husband visits Honor Oak Sainsburys everyday & he has been very impressed with the social distancing, the range of products available & the security measures in place.
My daughter does the rest of our shopping in the Bromley store, she says the BG one winds her up because I think it is so big & other customers get irritated.
That new tall security guard is amazingly friendly and keeping people in good spirits! Makes it so much easier!
Went into Honor oak sainsbury this morning and we were greeted by the very friendly security guard
Hello everyone, hope you’re all doing OK
Has anyone been to the sainsbury’s by London Road? Are we seeing panick buying again? I am missing a few household items but given current conditions I thought I’d plan my trip ahead of time
At 5.30pm some of the shelves were a bit bare like pre-packed veg but otherwise similar to I’ve seen at that time of day at anytime of the year.
Can vouch for this. I have worked throughout the pandemic at my place of work in zone 1 west London and the nearby superstore is pretty much always stocked. I always did my grocery shop there before work as FH/ED shops became a joke.
I went to Bell Green Sainsbury’s this morning, at about 6.30am. The customer level was OK but it was chockablock with staff wheeling round carts selecting products for home deliveries, so it was actually quite busy and with less space in the aisles because of the carts. Social distancing was non-existent (both customers and staff) and mask-wearing not to a high standard - it was noticeable how many of the staff were wearing masks over their mouths but not noses. In non-Covid times it would have been an OK pre-Christmas food-shop experience but in the current situation I wasn’t comfortable. I’m glad I don’t need to go food shopping again until after the weekend.
Citrus fruit was in stock though! Although hardly any potatoes.
Is it just the large branches that have staff picking goods for home deliveries? I don’t know what time of day they finish - presumably it’s quieter in the evening.
It might be preferable to visit a smaller branch or any supermarket branch that isn’t used for home deliveries.
Blockquote I went to Bell Green Sainsbury’s this morning, at about 6.30am. The customer level was OK but it was chockablock with staff wheeling round carts selecting products for home deliveries, so it was actually quite busy and with less space in the aisles because of the carts.
This has been a regular peeve for me about Bell Green Sainsbury’s since before COVID - but particularly since. No matter what day or what time of day you go there, you have to slalom between the tens of carts being used by the home delivery pickers.
I’ve long thought that using supermarkets as the source for home delivery orders is a bit strange: surely it would be more efficient to have a distribution centre dedicated to home delivery, thereby allowing the supermarkets to cater to the walk-in shoppers?
Though then again, if Sainsburys see the future of retail to be online, I guess they really aren’t too worried about annoying in-store customers: it might just hasten the transition to on-line shopping…
We went to Lidl in Lower Sydenham yesterday evening, although the meat was a bit low they had plenty of everything else and we didn’t even need to queue at the checkouts. A first!