In the face of unprecedented demand for grocery home delivery, Morrisons has introduced a new next-day delivery service of food and essentials boxes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Food Boxes contain are a mix of food and essential household items, and are designed to feed two adults for one week.
Shoppers can sign up online and choose between a meat or vegetarian box, costing £35, which includes a £5 delivery charge. However at the time of writing, no delivery slots were available in some areas – suggesting the popularity of such new services is already outweighing capacity.
Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the BRC told the BBC this week that demand for online food deliveries is 10 times the normal level, leading to online fulfilment failing to satisfy customer needs.
Morrisons Food Boxes in focus
Morrisons says its new service is introduced amid a situation where some shoppers are waiting up to four weeks for their regular online deliveries to reach their homes. Up to two boxes can be ordered and delivered.
The boxes are delivered by DPD, an international parcel delivery service provider, who will send a confirmation to shoppers including a tracking number, so that they can keep up to date with their delivery. Drivers offer a contact-free delivery service and can place the box on a doorstep or in a safe place.
Delivery fleets under pressure
Morrisons’ scheme comes as the UK’s grocers struggle to meet a huge surge in demand via their own delivery fleets. The UK government has asked elderly people and those with underlying health conditions to remain home as much as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ocado had to suspend ordering completely due to an excess of demand, while leading chains Tesco and Asda report they cannot offer delivery slots for several weeks.
All the supermarkets are asking customers that can go to stores to do so to free up slots for those in the vulnerable group.