Supermarkets have been urging people not to panic buy during the coronavirus outbreak and to only purchase what they need.
The warning hasn’t stopped shoppers from booking up online delivery slots.
Both online and in-store shoppers are urged to be sensible with the quantities they buy and there have been attempts to reassure customers that stock will continue to be delivered.
Some retailers in Cardiff and Swansea are unable to make deliveries for 10 days as all slots have been booked up and retailer Ocado has said it will not be delivering to new customers, just existing ones for the time being.
Their homepage and app are both currently unavailable due to demand.
The first slot for a groceries delivery in central Cardiff is now on March 26, at the time we checked.
The first availability for a click and collect order at the Penarth branch is Monday, March 23, there are also slots on that date for the Western Avenue Tesco Extra.
Other slots may become available.
The supermarket has already emailed customers to say: “As there may be more customers than normal booking deliveries, you may find that there aren’t as many slots available, so it’s a good idea to try and book further ahead. Don’t forget, you can make amends to your order up until 11.45pm on the day before your delivery.”
The supermarket has no slots available for central Cardiff for the next three weeks. All slots until April 5 are currently unavailable according to their website. Click and collect orders are also unavailable.
There are also no delivery slots to a central Swansea address.
A message on the site reads: “We have limited delivery availability due to extremely high demand. We are doing everything we can to improve this situation, please check back regularly for latest availability.”
Speaking to WalesOnline Mary Evans, 78, from Swansea described her frustrations.
She said: “I broke my leg in June last year. Since then I have ordered my groceries for delivery from Sainsbury’s.
“Now there are no slots for three weeks. We have been advised to self isolate because of our age but can’t get a delivery.
“There should priorites people who are not able to go out and get food.”
She then added with a laugh: “I need my sauvignon blanc!”
Chief executive Mike Coupe sent an email to registered online customers on Saturday saying: “I wanted to personally reassure you that we have more food and other essential items coming to us from manufacturers and into our warehouses and distribution centres. If we all shop just for the food that we and our families need, there will be enough for everyone.
“I also wanted to let you know that at Sainsbury’s, we are working really hard to ensure this remains the case. Over the past two weeks we have:
“Ordered more stock of essential items from our suppliers.
“Put more capacity into our warehouses and set limits on a small number of items, including some cleaning products, soap and pain relief. This is a precautionary measure – if everyone shops normally, there will be enough for everyone.
“There are gaps on shelves because of increased demand, but we have new stock arriving regularly and we’re doing our best to keep shelves stocked. Our store colleagues are working tirelessly and doing the best job they can.
“Which brings me onto a request. Please think before you buy and only buy what you and your family need. If we all do this then we can make sure we have enough for everyone. And please help elderly and vulnerable friends, family and neighbours with their shopping if you can.
Ocado’s app and homepage are both closed to customers.
A message on the desktop homepage says customers will have to wait up to 15 minutes to access the site.
“Sorry for the wait. Demand is very high at the moment so you may have to wait a little longer than usual to access the website. Your wait time will be more than fifteen minutes.”
However, it adds: “Please note, that in this time of unusual demand, we have made the call to temporarily prioritise deliveries for existing registered customers. We will not be processing new customer bookings for the time being.
“We are very sorry to have to disappoint anyone that chooses Ocado, and we’re working hard to increase our delivery capacity.”
In a letter to customers posted on social media, Ocado said they are working with the Government and suppliers to keep food moving quickly through the system and making more deliveries to ensure shelves are stocked.
“But we need your help too,” they said.
“We would ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop. We understand your concerns but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without. There is enough for everyone if we all work together.”
The first slot for a central Cardiff address is March 22, there are however slots for click and collect at the Swansea store from Wednesday.
A message says that: “You may notice that delivery slots for our online groceries service are becoming less readily available as demand for home deliveries increases. We’re working hard to facilitate as many orders as we can, however please be aware that you may need to book your slot further in advance than usual.
“You will also discover that there is a maximum order number on selected products so we can make sure our customers still have access to essential products.”
Asda has slots for Saturday, March 21, available in central Cardiff, but suggests customers also look at click and collect slots.
In Swansea, slots are fully booked until March 26.