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Which supermarkets are most Covid-safe?

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Only two in five consumers have felt safe in supermarkets during the current lockdown, according to Which?

Sainsbury’s finished at the top for Covid safety measures, with eight in 10 (81%) customers rating its procedures as good or excellent.

Sainsbury’s was closely followed by M&S (79%) and Waitrose (78%), with a similar percentage of customers also rating their Covid-safety measures highly.

The past year has seen supermarkets have to adapt their in-store operations to make shopping safer for customers. Stores have introduced measures such as checkout screens, limits on the number of people allowed in-store, and floor markings for social distancing.

Which? asked shoppers to rate the Covid safety measures implemented in supermarkets they had recently visited.

Whereas Sainsbury’s, M&S and Waitrose scored well, budget supermarkets Iceland and Lidl were at the bottom of the table.

Just two-thirds (66%) of Lidl and Iceland customers rated the supermarkets’ measures as good or excellent.

A Lidl customer complained the aisles were too “narrow to easily social distance”, while an Iceland customer said there was a “distinct lack of sanitizing products when entering the store”.

Co-op (69%) and Asda (70%) also finished in the bottom half. One Co-op customer said there were “too many people allowed in-store and no enforcement of the one-way aisle system”.

An Asda customer also complained that there were “too many people in-store, no one-way system and too many people without masks”.

During the current lockdown, some stores have placed stricter limits on shopper numbers and started barring anyone not wearing a mask from entry, unless they’re medically exempt.

When Which? asked 2,010 members of the public how they felt about supermarket shopping during the current lockdown, only two in five (38%) said they felt safe. But just before the second lockdown in October 2020, half (49%) said they felt safe.

Harry Rose, Which? magazine editor, said: “Many retailers have adapted and introduced effective safety measures during the pandemic, however our research shows shoppers feel some supermarkets are doing a better job than others at keeping them safe.

“While lockdown restrictions are set to ease in the next few weeks, supermarkets should ensure their safety measures are the best they can be, so that everyone can shop confidently and safely.”