The boss of Sainsbury’s has written to customers to reassure them that there “will be plenty of food” this Christmas as global supply chains remain under strain.
n a note to customers on Thursday, Simon Roberts wrote: “Following reports that some popular products will be hard to find this Christmas, I want to let you know we’re working flat out to make it a Christmas to remember.”
The chief executive added: “I also want to reassure you that there will be plenty of food and that we are confident that, even if the exact product you are looking for isn’t available, there will be a good alternative.”
Mr Roberts said stores will be getting regular deliveries right up until Christmas Eve and longer-life products, such as Christmas cakes and puddings, mince pies, nuts and cranberry sauce, are already available.
He said the supermarket expects to sell more fresh turkeys this year than ever before, with plenty available.
Mr Roberts added: “Fresh party food will arrive in stores from mid-November and, from 1st December, shelves will be well stocked with all your favourite fresh festive products – from pigs in blankets to Christmas cheeses.”
He concluded: “I hope this helps you in planning for the festive season. All our colleagues and store teams are ready to do all we can to safely serve and help you in the weeks ahead.”
Retailers have warned that global supply chain disruption due to coronavirus and the shortage of lorry drivers is likely to affect Christmas supermarket shelves and toy deliveries.
The UK economy has been disrupted by several factors including labour shortages, new immigration rules affecting HGV drivers, and the lingering effects of the pandemic.
There is estimated to be a shortfall of around 100,000 lorry drivers, and soaring energy prices have also added to the cost of food production and logistics.
Globally, the Covid crisis is having an ongoing effect on international supply chain logistics, affecting grocery and toy imports.
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S, the Co-op, Aldi and Asda have all begun selling Christmas puddings, chocolate treats and more, with some stores even imploring customers to buy now to avoid possible shortages closer to the big day.