Companies comment on empty shelves at Chesterfield stores

Companies have commented after pictures emerged showing empty shop shelves in Chesterfield.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:23 pm

In recent days the Derbyshire Times has been made aware of images showing lack of stock in Tesco Extra on Lockoford Lane, Sainsbury’s at Rother Way and Spar on Ashgate Road.

The ‘pingdemic’ and a lack of HGV drivers have caused disruption and delays in various supply chains, leading to product shortages in some industries.

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A number of shoppers have told the Derbyshire Times they have not seen empty shelves locally – and the Government is urging people not to ‘panic buy’.

A spokesperson for A F Blakemore Ltd, which operates the Spar store, said: “As with other major UK distributors we are currently navigating challenges in maintaining the supply chain to all of our retail outlet customers due to the impact of self-isolating cases following the changes in restrictions introduced by the UK Government combined with a shortage of HGV drivers.

“We are working to ensure that shoppers are able to get hold of the products they need on a daily basis.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We know there are some challenges with availability in some of our stores due to demand.

Chesterfield residents Ed Fordham tweeted this picture at Tesco Extra on Lockoford Lane.

“We’re working to replenish stock as quickly as we can to ensure our customers can get what they need.”

Meanwhile, Tesco has announced it is offering lorry drivers a £1,000 joining bonus.

The supermarket giant has deployed the recruitment incentive for candidates who join before September 30.

Nationally, pictures of empty store shelves are once again making headlines.

A concerned member of the public sent us this picture of empty shelves at the Spar on Ashgate Road, Chesterfield.

Coronavirus is playing a part, with thousands of workers being 'pinged' by the NHS app and told to self-isolate.

But industry bosses believe there is a much more urgent crisis to be solved – a lack of HGV drivers.

According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), there are as many as 100,000 vacancies for lorry drivers in the UK – before the pandemic it was around 60,000.

Reasons for the shortage, according to the RHA, include the loss of drivers from the EU following Brexit and the added bureaucracy of shipping goods to and from the UK post-Brexit, which is dissuading EU-based hauliers from coming to the UK.

He said: "In the next two to three weeks we are facing a collapse of the supply chain meaning even bigger gaps on supermarket shelves.

“We already have hauliers unable to move goods on a daily basis and we’re now facing a perfect storm.”

He added: “This is a crisis on a scale we have never seen before in this industry and the Government is burying its head in the sand.

“It is not recognising the seriousness.”

While Government ministers have said that they are ‘concerned’ by images of empty shelves in shops across the UK, they have urged people to refrain from ‘panic buying’ because this will only worsen the situation.

The Government is also introducing measures it hopes will ease the strain on the UK’s haulage industry.

Have you seen empty shelves locally? Email pictures to [email protected]

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