Coronavirus: Ocado closes online store due to ‘staggering demand’

'We are fully booked for the next four days,' says online supermarket

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 18 March 2020 17:08
Comments

Online supermarket Ocado has closed its online store as it struggles to deal with a huge increase in demand brought about by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Ocado said no new orders would be allowed "for the next few days" and no customers could edit existing orders.

"We are fully booked for the next four days. If you have a delivery booked for Thursday or Friday, cut-off times for editing these orders have already passed, but your driver will still arrive as expected," Ocado CEO Melanie Smith wrote in a message posted to the firm's website.

"We are very sorry to cause any inconvenience. We’re managing a simply staggering amount of traffic to our website right now and more demand for products and deliveries than we can meet.

"Our first priority has to be to keep our service up and running and to play our part in feeding the nation."

Ocado's app and website were overloaded in recent days amid fears about lockdowns and self-isolation.

Coronavirus containment measures saw people rush to buy food and stockpile essentials like toilet paper and cleaning products.

Several other supermarkets, including Tesco and Waitrose, have been forced to implement rationing in an effort to minimise the impact of panic buying.

It is not clear if Ocado plans to reopen its online store once the backlog has been cleared or whether it will need to wait for more stocks to arrive.

Ocado did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in