Can I still get a supermarket online delivery slot?

Suffolk supermarkets have no free delivery slots for the next few weeks Picture: PA

Suffolk supermarkets have no free delivery slots for the next few weeks Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Shoppers in Suffolk and north Essex are being urged to limit visits to supermarkets as the country adjusts to strict lockdown guidelines - but stores are struggling to cope with demand for online orders.

Addressing the nation on Monday night, prime minister Boris Johnson strongly advised UK citizens to make use of supermarket delivery services if at all possible to avoid leaving home during the coronavirus crisis.

We have checked the five major delivery services and the earliest a delivery was available in the region was on Tuesday, April 14, with some websites crashing due to the demand.

And those who have been fortunate to secure a delivery have been left disappointed, with some items being ‘substituted’ in their order.

Laura Hammond said: “I’ve got a delivery slot as I book it weekly well in advance. However, they can only pick what is on the shelves.

“My order is due on Monday. When I checked out last night the value was £75. Today I went to add dishwasher tablets and it has had 12 items removed.”

Tracey Hepper added: “The slot I do have is this Friday, but it’s click and collect and I had to book this two weeks in advance due to everyone else booking all the slots before me.

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“I know I won’t get majority of what I have ordered. Next week I will have to brave the supermarket to get food.”

MORE: Join our Facebook group for updates on coronavirus in Suffolk

Most chains are still offering a click and collect service as an alternative to shopping as normal.

Despite restrictions on stores opening, many roadside stalls are still trading as usual, as digital editor Natalie Sadler explained.

She said: “Where we live in Braintree many farmers are setting up stands in lay-bys, which is a great way of social distancing and easing pressure on the supermarkets.

“There are local fruit and veg delivery services too, so it is worth checking these out as an alternative option if you cannot get a supermarket slot.”

Keen to avoid the queues of large supermarkets, many residents have turned to shopping at smaller businesses to get their groceries.

Penny Parker said: “I’m hoping that we may have found a local farm shop that are willing to deliver if we pay for it at our end.”

MORE: Retail chain introduces screens at checkouts ‘to provide extra reassurance’