Grocery giant Tesco has revealed an “incredible” increase in both home delivery and click-and-collect capacity, increasing slots from 660,000 to 780,000 in just a fortnight.
The ramping up of capacity follows the busiest March ever for the grocery sector, with revenue increasing an unprecedented 13% year-on-year.
Manpower and operational changes
Tesco said the changes were possible thanks to manpower and operational changes made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The grocer now says it plans to increase slots by a further 100,000 in coming weeks as the crisis grinds on.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis says stores with an online grocery operation will now open their doors a little later – from 8am – to help Tesco pick more orders.
Under normal market conditions, online represents around 10% of UK grocery sales, but the pandemic has created unprecedented pressure on its infrastructure.
Tesco’s response has included a huge recruitment drive with 35,000 new staff employed during the past ten days alone.
Record-breaking demand for grocery
Lewis called the response to the increased demand “incredible”, with one million people visiting the retailer’s careers website.
UK grocery sales reached £10.8 billion in the 12 weeks to 22 March, according to industry analysts Kantar, which was even higher than Christmas spending levels.
Kantar said grocery spend online was 13% up on the same period in 2019, and the average online basket size increased to £81.88 in March – over £6 more than the same month one year before.