Best time to shop at Tesco: Former employee shares quietest time to pick up a ‘bargain’

Martin Lewis provides Tesco customers with Clubcard advice

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Supermarkets including Tesco have had to adapt throughout the pandemic by implementing strict guidelines like social distancing and reducing customer numbers in-store. According to one former employee, the best time to shop and avoid long queues is as soon as it opens or near closing time. 

Although retailers have seen an increase in demand for online delivery services, many Britons are still picking up essentials in store.

This means at peak times, queues may be likely with Tesco introducing a traffic light system to monitor customer numbers. 

According to a former Tesco employee, you’re more likely to avoid queues in the morning or evening.

“As soon as it opens or near closing time is when it is the most quiet,” he told My London.

Bryan Roberts, who worked as a Customer Service Assistant for almost a year explained that going late at night may not be the best option as food may have sold out by then.

However, he added that the store tends to be very quiet so if you’re only picking up a few essentials, a few hours before closing may be ideal.

He added: “In the old days you’d say Friday, Saturday, Sunday were the busiest days of the week but that’s been totally turned on its head.”

The pandemic has meant that customers have changed their shopping habits and according to Bryan, there were times where a Tuesday would see more shoppers than a typical Saturday.

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With money being tight for many people at the moment, searching for reduced food items is a great way to help cut the price of your grocery shop.

However, yellow sticker labelled food comes out at certain times throughout the day, depending on when the food product goes out of date.

Bryan explained: “In theory, you get the final reductions going out at about 3pm or 4pm.

“Late afternoon and evening is usually when the final reductions go out; if you are desperate for a bargain that is usually the best time.”

However, this can vary between different supermarkets and it may be best to visit at different times to see when the cheapest foods go on the shelves.

For those wishing to pick up the freshest possible produce, the ex-customer service assistant revealed that the best time to visit is as soon as the supermarket opens.

This is because shelves are typically replenished overnight so visiting a Tesco first thing would give customers the best choice of fruit and vegetables. 

As lockdown restrictions ease from April 12, supermarket rules are still in place to ensure the safety of customers and colleagues.

Tesco said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve focused on ensuring everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment.”

This means customers must wear face coverings when shopping as well as observing social distancing with other shoppers.

The retailer is also still asking people to shop alone unless they are a carer or with children.

Tesco recently removed one-way systems in store but is monitoring the situation and will make any necessary changes.

Supermarkets have regularly updated guidelines throughout the pandemic to keep in line with government guidance.

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