The quietest time of day of the day to shop at supermarkets amid coronavirus lockdown

COVID-19 cases have risen in Europe, where thousands of people have contracted the virus in the last month, resulting in a panicked response from the public. This has led many to stockpile essential items that they may not usually have bought in bulk like toilet paper, hand sanitiser and hand wash. Supermarkets are now saying that their stock is returning to normal but is there a quietest time to shop?


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With all the new supermarket rules being implemented, shoppers are finding it difficult knowing when it is the best time to go shopping, whether that’s on the weekdays, weekends, morning or evenings. 

Customers who are shopping for their essentials are turning up extra early to supermarkets in the hope it is quieter. 

However, many other supermarket customers have also had the same idea and have been turning up early too.

A benefit of going to the shops in the morning will be that a shopper will have access to fully stocked shelves but they should be prepared to queue.

This comes after many supermarkets have introduced a limited number of customers permitted in at any one time.

Sainsbury’s told the “We are working hard to keep our shelves well stocked so that customers can arrive at any point during store open hours and find most of the items that they need.” 

Nipping into a store ten minutes before closing may be a good plan, but shoppers are advised to check out the current opening and closing times of their local supermarket as a lot of them have changed due to the crisis. 

Closing early helps overnight staff to restock the shelves for the next day to make sure shoppers can find what they need.


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Customers have been worried that visiting stores late in the day will mean finding empty shelves.

However, CEO of Sainsbury’s Mike Coupe has reassured customers that they are replenishing shelves throughout the day and stressed that their stock levels are returning to normal. 

In a Tweet, Morrisons said: “Thank you to our customers for continuing to shop considerately. We’re generally less busy later in the day so if you’d like to shop when it’s quieter, and are able to, try visiting us in the afternoon to get the essentials you need.”

Sainsbury’s advise to shop throughout the day to avoid long queues in the morning and suggest shopping one adult per household at a time. 


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ASDA have said that their stores are replenished throughout the day so there is no need for customers to queue in the morning to make sure they get what they need. 

Likewise, Aldi have also announced that shelves are now fully stocked and have lifted the buying restrictions on many items in store, meaning that customers can visit the store throughout the day for their essentials. 

If customers wish to check how busy their local supermarket is, they can Google their local store for this information where a pink and blue graph will indicate the least busy times. 

Although supermarkets are expected to be busier than normal, this tool can help shoppers decide when to visit.

The blue line on the graph represents the average amount of shoppers entering the shop, and the pink line indicates the number of customers in store at a specific time. 

It’s generally advised not to turn up and queue as soon as the supermarkets open, most supermarkets are now restocking throughout the day to make it a safe shopping experience. 

Many UK supermarkets have introduced specific shopping hours for key workers so it is advised customers check their local stores opening hours before shopping. 

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