Tesco has called for any customers who are capable of travelling to their stores to ‘free up’ home delivery slots for elderly customers.
The supermarket chain’s chief operations officer here, Geoff Byrne, said the service is currently ‘maxed out’ due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he explained: “There’s huge demand for our home shopping service… people can’t get slots.
“There are a lot of able-bodied, healthy people who probably could get to a shop - we’d really like to free up slots where we can for over-65s.”
Mr Byrne also said the company is continuing to hire people to deal with the current level of demand and the challengesd posed by the current situation..
He explained: "It's been a very challenging few weeks for supermarkets - not only have we had stores in demand, colleagues in stores have had to deal with things they've never had to deal with before.
"We're really grateful for the hard work of our own staff... but we will need more people - we hired 350 people last week, and we'll hire another 350 people next week."
He said they're likely to see more of their own staff off work due to illness or self-isolation, and they're gearing up to deal with that situation if it arises.
'Unprecedented' shopping levels
Maeve McCleane, HR Director at Lidl Ireland, also spoke to Newstalk Breakfast this morning.
She said the shopping levels they've seen over the last few weeks has been 'unprecedented'.
She explained: "I think at this stage most of us have enough toilet paper and pasta, so I'd say we have that covered.
"But people continue to shop, and the more people that are at home the more grocery shopping that's going to need to be done."
Ms McCleane said they're currently not experiencing any supply chain issues, and they're confident that will continue.
She said: "We're working very closely with all of our suppliers and all of our partners.
"We're very happy that we are able to make sure that our stores can continue to restock on a daily basis, and the warehouses are handling up to 2,000 palettes a day alone."