Coronavirus: Waitrose reserves delivery slots for elderly & vulnerable

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Waitrose coronavirus covid-19
Waitrose will prioritise deliveries amid concern over food supplies for elderly and vulnerable people
// Waitrose sets aside delivery slots for the elderly & vulnerable to ensure they receive food supplies amid the coronavirus chaos
// 17% of its delivery slots will be reserved

Waitrose has said it will set aside up to a quarter of its online grocery delivery slots for elderly and vulnerable shoppers amid the coronavirus crisis.

The upmarket grocer is prioritising the delivery slots after concerns were raised about whether those isolated at home were able to retrieve food supplies.

In recent weeks, supermarkets have had to introduce rationing in a bid to prevent people from coronavirus-linked panic buying.


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Many elderly people have struggled in recent weeks to buy their groceries online as slots had been taken due to a massive surge in demand.

Online grocer Ocado saw its website crash last week after customers began panic buying as a result of the anticipated lockdown.

Waitrose said it is expanding its online delivery operation after the government announced it will begin the delivery of emergency food parcels on Saturday to thousands of the 1.5 million people it has identified as vulnerable.

The grocer will be prioritising deliveries using data from its loyalty scheme and customer accounts to identify the elderly and vulnerable customers.

“Over the last month we have delivered to more customers than we have at any point in our history,” Waitrose online director Ben Stimson said.

“We have far more demand than we have capacity for but we’re trying to reach our most vulnerable customers first to help support them at this difficult time.”

Waitrose’s move came as Tesco limited online shoppers to 80 items per order as part of its plan to increase the number of delivery slots available to vulnerable households.

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43 COMMENTS

    • I am an “extremely vulnerable” person. I understand that I need to ‘register’ in order for my name to be put forward for a delivery slot with Waitrose. Is that correct?

    • My wife and I are aged 79 & 78 and I have non hodgkin’s lymphoma . I have been advised by RD&E HAEMATOLOGY Dept to self isolate for a further 3 months.My hospital number is 6909102.We have already registered for deliveries from Waitrose but have been unable to get any slots. We live in Down St Mary, Devon.EX17 6EJ.and use the Okehampton store.
      Can we please be placed on the list for vulnerable people who can reseve slots.

  1. I am 87 years of age and am diabetic. I received a notice on my mobile phone from the NHS informing me that I am not to leave my home 12 weeks. I have been unable to get a slot for a home delivery from either Waitrose or Tesco and believe there are a emergency slots for people like myself.

  2. I am 79 and 3/4 and living in Battersea. I would like delivery of groceries because I have type 2 diabetes and the last time I rode the bus up to Northcote Road Waitrose to shop I felt un safe, even during the old folks hour

    • I am 74 years old, have severe knee problem (Arthritis & Rheumatism). I have heart issues and take medication. Five years ago I was diagnosed with early Alzheimer and can not go out on my own only with a carer. My carer is my daughter but now she has to self isolate. Can I please register with you in order to be put forward for an early delivery slot. I am running out of milk, cereals, fruit, veg, chicken etc. Please can you advice me what to do as my food provisions are coming down to nothing. Kind Regards Mrs A.Duke

  3. I am 79 and 3/4 and living in Battersea. I would like delivery of groceries because I have type 2 diabetes and the last time I rode the bus up to Northcote Road Waitrose to shop I felt un safe, even during the old folks hour

  4. Add me to the above. 80, ovarian cancer. Letter received. The supermarkets seem to be having problems identifying us.

  5. Like many people I am desperate to get a delivery slot I am 89yrs diabetic unable to walk around a supermarket because of severe spinal condition. . My husband is 90yrs with his own issues so he is unable to get out to shop. We have tried every avenue many attempts What can we do?.

    • Hi I had an email to say I could get a slot as over 70 and vunerable due to being asthmatic but don’t seem to be able to get one

  6. I am 84 years of age have type 2diabetes , high blood pressure and af . I have shopped with you for more than 10 years ( mostly on line ) . My last shop was about 14 March . I desperately need top ups for essentials . I have no family living close by and , althoughI do have transport , it is difficult to drive at the moment because I have hurt my leg and it is difficult to walk . Please help .

  7. I have my letter from NHS England as I belong to the high risk/vulnerable category. I have not found any way to get food supplies even though I am supposed to get a priority slot. I have registered for this but heard nothing back. How long will I have to go without supplies before something is done?

  8. Received email from Waitrose where we have regularly shopped for over 35 years to say that slots are available for the elderly ( we are both in our seventies) . Have tried over and over again but to no avail. All through this virus these major grocery shops talk the talk about how well they are responding to the crisis and patting themselves on the back. However the reality is that their response has been too little and too late such that we have no alternative than to queue up at there respective stores where shelves have been cleared out due to their lack of proper and timely management.

    • Waitrose have no way of selecting people over 70. At no point in the last 20 years have they asked for my date of birth. Applications for an account and Clubcard do not require date of birth. Although they talk the talk, they cannot follow through.

      • Agree whole heartedly. How can Waitrose state they are prioritising the ‘elderly’ as well as the vulnerable if they do not have ones date of birth and there is no way on the Government website to register just as elderly? I know Waitrose are inundated with delivery requests and they are doing their very best but perhaps they should remove that part of the statement that the elderly are getting priority slots when they have no way of knowing how old someone is.

  9. I have read all the comments about the elderly not being able to get on line deliveries,
    I am also one of those elderly people which have regisered for priority on line deliverys
    But never heard back! Nor can I get a slot. It is so stressful trying to get food !, it has made me feel quite poorly. Time now for all supermarkets to get their acts together, get mor vans on the road to deliver food to the elderly,

  10. We are a household with serious illness and children to feed. Despite being written to three times by government bodies, hospital trusts and hospital and having filled in all forms we have heard nothing. We have written to customer service, no reply. There isn’t no way to speak to anyone. We have not had a shop since March 4 and have no way of getting out. These headlines infuriate me as I can see no evidence of any joined up service to help the vulnerable. I have shopped online with Waitrose for a long time but am furious that articles like this are written as if deliveries are available. They are not. I am running very low on food and am sure I am not alone. WAITROSE, get your act together, if you can’t, DO NOT publish that you are.

  11. i have a Waitrose account and have used online deliveries services frequently over the years. I am 74 years and have an ongoing medical condition and would like to place an online order with Waitrose. My attempts to do so have been unsatisfactory. No slots are available. As a faithful Waitrose customer for many years, I feel it would be fair that my needs at this time should be prioritised, especially so as I am in the vulnerable group.

  12. how do I register as being vunerable I am 87 years disabled with diabetes and living alone
    and a, regular online customer with you please advise

  13. 4 days since notified of priority slot – still no availability up to June – why announce something when its not available – still I suppose they have been able to find out from the government my age against privacy rules so they can sell that on!

  14. I am 74 and taking medication for high blood pressure please can register me for a vulnerable person slot, I am a Waitrose member

  15. All the supermarkets have failed with the vulnerable. A simple box asking if you are vulnerable would have solved the problems. None of them have performed. All are saying they will make slots available but have failed. I’ve tried every one.
    So Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose’s, Iceland, where are these slots for us.
    Just to make it clear, I’m a transplant patient, also had cancer.
    So, where’s the slots and the access on your delivery?
    Your all hopeless.

  16. Very disappointed to find out that I have registered for online delivery because we are classed as very vulnerable only to find out there are no delivery slots and no way of telling them my age and issues. Seems like a total con, why are Waitrose lying about these slots in the press.

  17. I am registered disabled & cannot get a slot with Waitrose for home deliveries as I have been a customer with them in Brent cross Dorchester Plainmoor Teignmouth & Exeter in fact where ever I have lived for over 50 years I now feel let down by them in my years of need. On your Waitrose website all dates up to mid July are unavailable for deliveries what does this mean are you letting the same people block booking in advance with no check. I have been sent 2 letters from NHS & the Government told I must stay at home. Please reply & explain

    • Josephine, I’m sure your difficulty is being repeated endlessly. I help on the Waitrose 0800 number for over 30 minutes before it was answered (lunchtime Sunday 5th April) and I was told emails were being sent out to the elderly and clinically vulnerable in the next 7 to 14 days and after that I would be able to try for a slot.
      She didn’t ask my email address or anything to check if I was on their list and, what’s more, said they only started sending these emails out 2 days ago. She didn’t seem aware, unless Waitrose is using some young lad in a back office, the email could be sent out at a million per hour. I started to lose the will to live. Out of milk, bread, cheese and tomatoes but still have tap water.

  18. My neighbour received a letter so we registered him on Waitrose and filled in the government forms 10 days ago. He/we have heard nothing. Called twice and just got told there is nothing they can do. I think it is false advertising by Waitrose they are helping the vulnerable.

  19. I would just like to add a positive experience during this difficult time, following the receipt of my government letter 23/3 regarding 12 weeks isolation I have been fortunate to have allocated supermarket slot offers from 4 of the big supermarkets, a government food parcel which deserves praise, my gp has personally contacted me x2 since I received my letter, I have been fortunate enough to have had a faultless service, I appreciate that doesn’t help others, only to give hope for you that hopefully soon things will improve for you. Please bear in mind it is a mammoth task that the government & supermarkets & organising logistics in such pressurised circumstances.

  20. Waitrose have not responded to several contacts with online website.
    The same day I received the ‘You are on our list for elderly slots’ email, IO also received the same message from Sainsbury’s.
    I was immediately guided to the relevant site, placed my order, which was promptly delivered. How about that Waitrose!!

  21. age 79 self isolating with medical conditions no transport no one to shop for us .have been using Tesco delivery for years .on internet every day trying to get a delivery slot .always get the same answer no delivery slots available .now using a local shop to buy food which charge over the price that in Tesco …well Tesco I now give up trying to get a home delivery and will not support you shop again I will not buy from you again if you cant deliver to your regular customers that cant get to your shop .thank you for nothing

  22. I didn’t get a letter, not vulnerable enough although 73, partially sighted and unable to drive or walk. So I can’t get a priority slot. Because of my mobility issues the hour set asided for elderly etc. is no help to me. There must be 100s of thousands in the same boat as I am.

  23. 94 years old, blind, multiple health issues. My wife accesses Waitrose website at least once every two hours from early morning until late at night. Not once, despite Waitrose’s email promises, has there been a slot available after our next delivery tomorrow – two pages of ‘fully booked’ followed by three months of ‘unavailable’. I would gladly book weeks in advance but can’t understand just what we have to do since Waitrose has stopped responding to emails.

  24. I have been receiving on line deliveries but can no longer find an available slot here in Truro.
    I am a pensioner with chronic asthma living with my son who has some special needs and also has asthma. Can you please help?

  25. Right now I wished I lived in Germany where they are always so organised I bet their customers are not left to go without their weekly shop. Waitrose why cant you get your bloody act together what use are you if you cannot help vulnerable elderly people with their shopping. It is not good enough having no slots available for weeks on end you are a disgrace . But you just go on patting yourselves on the back as if you are wonderful YOU ARE NOT.

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