Tesco has announced a number of major changes in stores across the UK as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues.
Jason Tarry – CEO of Tesco – formally revealed the changes in an email to shoppers.
The supermarket chain stated that these new measures are “in line with current government guidance” and also confirmed that it has made sure that the safety measures introduced at the start of the pandemic remain in place going forward.
The updated changes are said to be “to help protect our customers and colleagues” and “ensure that everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment.”
Speaking on the changes, Jason Tarry said: “Wecontinue to prioritise making our stores as safe as we can, and we are continually looking at new ways to do so, as well as monitoring government guidance to make sure we respond to any changes straightaway.”
So, what can you expect from your next trip to Tesco then? What do you need to be aware of?
Here’s all the major changes you need to know.
Tesco has confirmed it will be extended opening hours in many of its branches to help safely manage the flow of people in and out of stores for the benefit of customers and staff.
The majority of stores however will remain closed overnight.
To find the latest opening hours for your local branch, you can use the Tesco store locater here.
New ‘Traffic Light’ System
Several months after Aldi rolled out its ‘red and green’ traffic light system, Tesco has announced it will be doing the same in larger stores.
Customers can expect to see this take effect “over the coming weeks”.
The supermarket chain also confirmed that larger stores will now have staff based at the entrances to help everyone follow the safety measures and answer any questions that shoppers have.
Jason Tarry stated in the email to shoppers: “When you visit our stores, please follow the legal guidance on wearing a face covering. If you forget to bring one, we have packs available to buy at the front of our stores, which you can open immediately and pay for with your shopping later.
“As a reminder, the police are able to issue fines for not wearing a face covering, unless you are exempt.”
Hand Sanitiser and Cleaning Stations
Hand sanitiser and cleaning stations will remain available to use around all stores.
Tesco also confirmed that it will continue to have social distancing guidelines and signage in place at clear and visible points around every store.
No Need to ‘Panic Buy’
Tesco has issued a statement of reassurance for shoppers with regards to stock availability.
Jason Tarry said: “We have good stock levels, so please shop as you normally would so that everyone is able to get what they need [and] we may apply buying limits to some essential products to help with that too.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have more than doubled the number of home delivery and Click+Collect slots to 1.5 million each week [and] this is to help anyone who is unable to shop in-store – especially our most vulnerable customers – to access our online service.
“Last week, we delivered more orders than ever before, and we will continue to increase the number of online slots available [but] there is still high demand for our online service,
“We would encourage people who are able to shop in-store to do so.”
On the topic of ‘panic buying’, Andrew Opie – Director of Food & Sustainability at The British Retail Consortium – added: “Retailers have done an excellent job in ensuring customers have access to food and necessities throughout this pandemic.
“Since March, retail businesses have strengthened their supply chains, as well as investing hundreds of millions to make stores safe and secure for customers [and] this includes perspex screens, social distancing measures and additional hygiene measures [so] as such, retail remains a safe space for consumers, even under future lockdowns.
“Supply chains are stronger than ever before and we do not anticipate any issues in the availability of food or other goods under a future lockdown.
“Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would.”
Heinz teams up with Absolut Vodka to create new ‘pasta alla vodka’ sauce
After hiking the price of its cream of tomato soup by 79% at the start of the year, Heinz was firmly in our bad books – but a new collaboration withAbsolut Vodka might just be about to turn all of that around.
In a partnership we didn’t even know we needed, the two brands have come together to create the ultimate jar of Pasta alla Vodka sauce.
Spicy vodka pasta has long been a favourite with Italian food lovers, but the dish has been experiencing something of a moment in the spotlight ever since supermodel Gigi Hadid shared her own viral recipe on social media.
The dish has since become one of the trendiest recipes on TikTok and Instagram, leading Heinz to pull themselves into gear and create their own version of the popular sauce.
Despite its over 150-year history of creating world-renowned tomato-based products, Heinz has admitted to being ‘ridiculously late’ to the tomato-based pasta sauce game.
Now, though, that is all set to change as the brand releases its own version of the much-loved recipe to the masses, in jar-form, through the creation of Heinz x Absolut Tomato Vodka Pasta Sauce.
Calling it ‘a match made in pasta heaven,’ according to a press release the vodka in the sauce ‘unlocks the flavours and intensifies the aroma’ of the rich and creamy tomato, basil and cheese concoction.
During the cooking process, most of the alcohol from the vodka is reduced, boosting the volatile flavour compounds already present in the tomatoes and creating a rich texture that perfectly balances the creamy, cheese notes with the rich tomato and fragrant basil.
Speaking on the new release, Caio Fontenele, Heinz New Ventures Director, said: “While it may have taken over 150 years of tomato expertise to launch our first Heinz pasta sauce, we’re determined to continue innovating and delighting consumers with delicious flavours, at the speed of social media trends.
“We are thrilled with the partnership between these two centenary brands, bringing the first tomato vodka pasta sauce to major UK supermarkets. The iconic combination of Heinz’s high-quality tomato sauces and Absolut’s premium vodka is set to offer fans the ultimate pasta alla vodka experience. And the result is absolutely delicious!”
Of the launch, Leanne Banks, Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard UK, added: “It’s only natural that we’d partner with Heinz on this ultimate collaboration between two iconic brands, with two iconic bottles.
“As the UK’s no.1 premium vodka, Absolut was Born to Mix, whether that’s in delicious drinks or fun food combinations and Heinz x Absolut Tomato Vodka Pasta Sauce is a match made in heaven. Now fans of our brand can enjoy Absolut in an entirely new and innovative way, Pasta alla Vodka style.”
A limited number of the Heinz x Absolut Tomato Vodka Pasta sauce jars will be available at Waitrose from mid-April for £2.50 for a 350g jar.
However, if you don’t want to miss out, you can pre-order one of a limited run of the special sauce from Heinz’s direct-to-consumer website, www.heinztohome.co.uk, to get your hands on a jar ahead of its official supermarket launch.
Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe set to submit ‘world record’ offers to buy Manchester United as other bidders are expected to join the race
The deadline for the second round of bidders in the race to takeover Manchester United football club has officially passed, with multiple world record offers reportedly on the verge of being submitted.
Following the first round of bids, which saw a Qatar investment group headed up by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe both put in their initial offers, Manchester United set a second deadline of 9pm on 22 March for them to increase their offers and welcome other offers.
While the opening bids matched each other at £4.5 billion, working with financial advisors Raine Group who are brokering in the deal from the US, neither reached the Glazer family ownership’s estimations, who value the club closer to £6bn.
As a result, both went on to carry out further negotiations — each visiting Old Trafford last Friday and staying for upwards of six hours (more than 10 in the case of the Qataris) — but it is now thought they may no longer be the only parties involved in the bidding war. Whether it will be in time is the issue.
Despite earlier reports that Sheikh Jassim and his associates had submitted a “world record offer” before the Glazers and Raine Group’s 9pm deadline (5pm New York time), Sky Sports‘ Kaveh Solhekol has now clarified that the bid was not submitted in time and that they have asked for an extension.
Man United are said to have agreed to the extension and Sheikh Jassim still remains confident that they have the “best bid” of the bunch.
Moreover, as per the likes of Mike Keegan, Jim Ratcliffe was also set to enter his second bid, with both offers said to have increased to around the £5bn mark. However, the INEOS chief exec is also said to have failed to meet the deadline and been granted an extension, according to a senior source.
Kaveh also went on to detail that multiple other offers have in fact been submitted, with the numbers said to be “approaching eight” different bidders.
Any bid of more than £3.75bn would break the world record fee for a sports club set when the Denver Broncos were sold last summer.
As for the frontrunners, both offers are still around a billion short of the Glazer’s asking price and not only have Sheikh Jassim and co. already warned they will ‘walk away’ if the price is too high, but it’s unclear how far Ratcliffe’s wealth can stretch if he is to continue pursuing a deal.
The key difference between the two bids is that Qatar’s bid will apparently make the club debt-free given the sheer mass of state wealth behind them, whereas the Failsworth-born businessman’s financing may be more complex to put together.
Trying to clear up the confusion, The Times‘ Matt Lawton said on Twitter that “both Qatari and INEOS representatives said their bids were in, United sources [are] saying they haven’t yet bid and have asked for an extension”, with offers now set to be made by tomorrow.
As reported by Sky Sports earlier this week, it was thought that “at least five other bidders” and as many as eight in question could join the race along with Ratcliffe and Qatar, who were the only two parties to have submitted an official offer for United during the first round of bidding.
However, a detailed list of the other candidates and precisely how many are still yet to be confirmed; Kaveh did go on to suggest that some could simply be a form of “hot air” designed to hopefully urge the ‘serious bidders’ to edge their offers up even higher.
As for next steps, neither of the parties in the supposed two-horse race expect an immediate decision from the board, especially after the unexpected delay, and those who submitted new offers in the second round of bidding will have to wait at least seven days to hear back from the club and brokers Raine Group regarding their progress.
However, it is worth noting that these subsequent bids may not necessarily be attempts to buy the club outright and not only is there a feeling that a third round of negotiations could take place, but there is also a growing sense that the Glazers could still pull out of a potential buyout altogether.