TESCO customers have been urged to do their Christmas food shop early this year to avoid the usual festive chaos.
The supermarket's boss Jason Tarry issued a plea to shoppers in an email update to customers last night.
He said: "As the festive season approaches, it's always busier for our stores, so please consider shopping a littler earlier that you usually would, to avoid the peak festive period."
He also reassured customers that "stock levels are good" so there's "no need to buy more of your regular groceries than normal."
Customers keen to avoid the last minute rush can book an online Christmas delivery slot from next month.
Tesco has more than doubled the number of delivery slots available since the coronavirus lockdown – it now has 1.5million delivery slots a week compared to 600,000.
Supermarket home deliveries
HERE’S what other supermarkets charge for their home delivery services.
- Asda delivery charges range between £3 and £5.50. There's a £40 minimum spend on home delivery orders and a £25 minimum spend for click and collect.
- Iceland offers free home delivery, but you have to spend a minimum of £35 to place an order.
- Morrisons delivery slots cost between £1.70 and £6.90. There's a £40 minimum spend on home deliveries.
- Waitrose doesn't charge for delivery, but you need to spend a minimum of £60.
- Sainsbury's charges between 50p and £7 for delivery. There's a £25 minimum spend.
- Tesco charges £4.50 for all delivery slots. There's a £25 minimum spend.
- Ocado orders less than £75 cost between £2.99 and £6.99. More expensive orders are free.
Shoppers who've signed up to the supermarket's premium Delivery Saver scheme will be able to book their festive slot from 7am on November 13.
For everyone else, delivery slots for the festive season opens from November 20 from 7am.
Mr Tarry's plea comes a month after shops began to show signs that customers were stockpiling again over fears of a winter lockdown.
Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose implemented temporary rationing on certain products again to protect stocks from panic buyers.
While Morrisons and Waitrose lifted the limits after spending data showed shoppers weren't actually panic buying.
But Tesco previously told The Sun that it will be keeping some rationing restrictions for the forseeable, including on flour, dried pasta, toilet roll, baby wipes and anti-bacterial wipes, which are restricted to three of each per person.
Face coverings, eggs, flour and anti-bacterial products are also capped at three per person on all online orders.
Tesco has had a limit of 95 items per online order in place since April.
The retailer is also the latest supermarket to install a traffic light system to let customers know when to enter stores.
Tesco has joined the likes of Aldi and Home Bargains which have already installed, or are working on installing, the prompters at stores.
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Shoppers are also being encouraged to shop alone when possible and to continue to follow social distancing rules.
Customers have to wear a mask when shopping at a supermarket in the UK to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Some people are exempt from the rules, while Public Health England advises children under the age of three do not wear one.
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