Christmas is fast approaching and with the majority of England facing tough coronavirus restrictions during December, supermarkets are tightening up on their rules.
Throughout the pandemic, stores have been aiming to keep shoppers safe with one-way systems, contactless payments and sanitising stations.
During the Covid-era, supermarket customers have got used to long queues outside supermarkets to make sure the number of people inside stay within safe levels.
But as the weather grows colder, the prospect of queuing outside is becoming a bit less appealing.
Thankfully, some supermarkets have designed safe ways to keep them at a minimum.
Sainsbury’s had previously trialled a virtual queuing system, with customers waiting at home or in their for a notification when they were close to the front of the queue.
Originally, this scheme was only available at eight of their stores nationwide, but in the lead up to Christmas, this new virtual queuing system has been introduced at a total of 55 stores nationwide, reports Essex Live.
It means that customers won’t have to wait in the cold and rain before their big Christmas shop.
Those without smartphones don’t have to worry, because staff can add someone to the queue using technology at the shop front.
The system was designed by an app-design company called Ufirst.
But according to The Grocer, they aren’t the only company providing this alternative.
Asda is also operating their own version of a queuing app across 50 of their stores, after an initial trial in Leeds in July.
Their app is designed by a company called Qudini, and allowed customers to join the queue either via the app or by scanning a QR code.
The M&S version allows customers to book a 30-minute slot to shop at one of their stores or Food Halls.
It means customers can arrive, show their booking, and walk straight in.
Earlier this week, Tesco and Sainsbury’s announced that they were to extend the opening times at many of their locations in the lead up to Christmas to try and cut down on outdoor queues.
They’ve encouraged shoppers to shop at quieter times if possible to make sure there are safe numbers of customers in-store at all times.