Coronavirus: Online shopping website Ocado suspends service

March 19, 2020

Online shopping delivery service Ocado has suspended its online food delivery service, blaming higher demand than it can meet. 

Ocado said existing customers with orders would still receive them.


Meanwhile, supermarkets have introduced strict limits on how many goods people can buy to try to curb stockpiling as the coronavirus pandemic escalates.


Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda will now stop shoppers buying more than three of any particular food item.


Sainsbury's has also said it will prioritise vulnerable and elderly people for online deliveries.


Ocado said it was experiencing "a simply staggering amount of traffic" to its website and more demand for products and deliveries than it could meet.


"This temporary closure will allow us to complete essential work that will help to make sure distribution of products and delivery slots is as fair and accessible as possible for all our loyal customers," it added.


Asda and Sainsbury's buying restrictions will also apply to cleaning and toiletry products, while Tesco's limits will apply to all products.

"If you could help us by limiting demand of essential items and allowing us to focus on the core needs of our customers - we are confident that we can continue to feed the nation," said Tesco.


Asda said it had seen "a heightened demand" for products both in stores and online.


"We have plenty of products to go around, but we have a responsibility to do the right thing for our communities to help our customers look after their loved ones in a time of need," it added.


Asda told the BBC that cashiers and customers using self-checkout would not be able to scan more than three of the same restricted items. Sainsbury's said it was updating its tills to reflect the limits.


Aldi has already introduced limits of four items per shopper on all products, while Morrisons has said it will expand its online delivery service.


Supermarkets' online delivery services have also been overwhelmed by the surge in demand. Before Ocado suspended its whole service it had taken down its app due to the spike in orders.


Source: BBC News

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