Three-fifths of Brits say they have been unable to do routine shopping over the past week – with availability of fuel, meat and milk among the issues
- EXCLUSIVE: Poll finds 41 per cent of Britons unable to get products in past week
- Fuel was most common issue but complaints about meat, fruit and veg and dairy
- Rishi Sunak said ministers doing ‘everything we can’ to solve supply chain issues
Three-fifths of Britons say they have been unable to do routine shopping over the past week.
Some 41 per cent reported failing to secure normal products in a poll for MailOnline, underlining the supply chain chaos wracking the country.
Fuel was the most common problem, with 42 per cent saying they could not purchase any in the research by Redfield & Wilton Strategies.
But 30 per cent said they were thwarted from buying meat, while the same proportion complained about a lack of fruit or vegetables.
A quarter could not get dairy products, with 40 per cent raising gripes about other household items – and 14 per cent insisting finding medicine had been difficult.
The grim poll, conducted on Tuesday, came with queues still visible at petrol stations in some parts of the country after a wave of panic buying caused chaos.
There have also been warnings about delays stacking up at ports, while surging worldwide demand after the pandemic and international shortages of lorry drivers have contributed to a ‘perfect storm’ for shoppers.
Rishi Sunak could only offer limited reassurance today there will be presents under the tree this Christmas, amid fears the supply chain crisis will leave shelves bare.
Some 41 per cent reported failing to secure normal products in a poll for MailOnline, underlining the supply chain chaos wracking the country
Fuel was the most common problem, with 42 per cent saying they could not purchase any in the research by Redfield & Wilton Strategies
Empty shelves in Leeds are picture today as stocks run low at a Sainsbury’s supermarket due to supply issues
The Chancellor admitted the government ‘can’t fix every single problem’, but said ministers were doing ‘absolutely everything we can’ to solve issues at British ports and in shops ahead of the festive period.
Families have been urged to start shopping now amid fears supplies of toys, electrical goods and other products will be disrupted by logjams.
One in three retailers in Britain are expecting prices to increase over the next three months amid pressures including spiking energy costs.
The British Retail Consortium said there are ‘clear signs’ that the combination of issues are ‘starting to filter through to consumer prices’, and small retailers across the UK say they are expecting to have to charge more.
But others said they are ‘desperately holding off from being a Christmas grinch and keeping everything the same’ because they don’t want to give shoppers more reasons not to buy in what is already a tough market.
In comical scenes, it has emerged that a Tesco Extra in Cardiff put a huge display of sunflower oil at the end of a frozen food aisle, while another placed salad cream and HP Sauce in chillers – and a Gloucester Asda filled empty shelves with Lynx Africa deodorant.
Meanwhile a Tesco in Pontypridd, South Wales, put a wall of tomatoes in place of the usual salad items. And a Co-op store in Hertfordshire filled fruit and vegetable sections with Quality Street, Celebrations and Dairy Milk.
Insiders said it was not being driven by head offices and was just staff thinking on their feet. Barbara Davies, 71, told the Sun: ‘It feels like items have been plonked in odd places where other products would normally be.
‘Why would they put so many bottles of sunflower oil right next to all the frozen food? It does make me worry about what Christmas might look like.’
Supermarkets have been mocked for filling gaps on shelves with bizarre items to make stores look less bare. Pictured: A Co-op store in Hertfordshire
A Gloucester Asda store which has filled empty shelves with Lynx Africa is pictured this morning
Twitter user Stuart Turner posted this picture on September 17 of his local Co-Op having put salad cream in the fridges
Meanwhile chocolate boxes such as Quality Street, Celebrations and Dairy Milk have been chucked into fruit and vegetable slots. Pictured: A Tesco in Heaton, Newcastle
Retail leaders said the shortage of HGV drivers to carry loads from docks around the coast is threatening festivities and the wider economy.
But in a boost for shoppers, one of the biggest suppliers of turkeys in the country assured customers Christmas dinner was not off the table just yet.
Ronald Kers, Group CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, which is associated with Bernard Matthews, said it was bringing in 700 more workers for the festive period.
Mr Sunak set out to reassure the country Christmas will not be cancelled this year amid the ongoing crisis.
He told the BBC: ‘I tell people they should be reassured we are doing absolutely everything we can to mitigate these challenges.
‘They are global in nature, so we can’t fix every single problem. But I feel confident there will be good provision of goods for everybody.
‘And we are working our way to remove blockages where we can as with HGV drivers for example where we’ve provided short term visas.
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