When does Tesco restock shelves and when is the best time to visit

TESCO shoppers who need to top up on food and essentials might be wondering when the best time to visit the supermarket is.

Whether you want to go when shelves are fully stocked up, or when stores are less crowded, here’s everything you need to know.

 Tesco shoppers can try and plan their next shop by following these tips


Tesco shoppers can try and plan their next shop by following these tipsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

When does Tesco restock shelves?

Most Tesco stores have staff restocking shelves throughout the day, so there is usually no exact way of knowing when shelves are being replenished.

However, the supermarket chain has temporarily stopped its 24 hour opening hours so staff can spend time restocking goods once stores shut for the day.

This means you’ll likely find shops are best stocked first thing in the morning, but they may also be busier because of this.

Customers have been tweeting images of shoppers queuing around the outside of car parks as they wait for stores to open.

One shopper tweeted: “Food shopping in the UK has no way returned to normal. It’s not normal to have to queue 55 minutes to get into Tesco.

“It was already open… this was just the queue to get in!”

Another customer tweeted an image of shoppers lined up with their trolleys with the caption: “Queue first thing this morning – at the bottom of the car park.”

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It’s worth noting that Tesco has a dedicated browsing area before checkouts open every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for NHS staff, so you won’t be able to shop during these times unless you work for the NHS.

As most Tesco stores are constantly being replenished, you shouldn’t need to rush out for when stores open to find what you need.

You could also consider calling your nearest Tesco first to find out if they have what you need in store before making the journey.

Use the online store locator tool to find the contact details of your closest branch.

When is the best time to shop at Tesco?

How busy and well stocked a Tesco store will be depends on the day of the week, and also the time you choose to visit.

There is no definite way of knowing how busy a store will be, but generally weekends will typically be busier.

You may also find early mornings are busier due to stock being replenished overnight, but this isn’t always the case.

Google has a “popular times” feature which uses visitor data to show you how busy your nearest Tesco store usually is on a certain day.

“Popular times” is broken down hour-by-hour for every day of the week.

 An example of the 'popular times' for one Tesco store in London, which shows a steady stream of customers throughout the day


An example of the ‘popular times’ for one Tesco store in London, which shows a steady stream of customers throughout the day

To use the tool, start off by Googling your nearest Tesco branch in the “maps” section of the search engine.

Scroll down past the opening hours and you’ll see the “popular times” graph, which is made up of blue bars.

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The higher the blue bar, the more customers are usually shopping in your local Tesco at that time.

It’ll also show a pink bar to represent how many customers Google believes to be in the store right now.

The example above, which is for a Tesco superstore in London, shows a steady stream of customers throughout the day, with slightly less shoppers between 6am and 9am.

The first hour of trade today was dedicated to NHS workers.

This particular Tesco store is also experiencing less customers than usual right now.

New Tesco TV advert shows customers how stores will be operating social distancing measures during coronavirus pandemic

When do Tesco stores open?

Opening hours vary between Tesco shops, so you’ll need to check the times for your nearest supermarket.

Tesco has more than 3,400 stores across the UK and you can find your closest – including opening hours – using the online store locator tool.

Hours have varied slightly due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For example, the supermarket has temporarily stopped its 24 hour opening times to help with restocking.

Many stores are opening at 6am or 7am in the morning and closing at 10pm.

Does Tesco have any rationing limits in place?

Tesco this week relaxed its three item limit on the vast majority of products.

Tesco says the three item limit will now only apply to fresh eggs, home baking products, and household and personal cleaning products including hand sanitisers.

It will also continue to apply to packets and tins of food, including pasta and rice, as well as to toilet rolls and paper goods.

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These changes apply both online and in-store.

Tesco’s 80-item total order cap still applies online.

Tesco coronavirus opening times today: Shopping hours for vulnerable shoppers and latest delivery options

The supermarket is giving 75,000 vulnerable shoppers priority access to booking online deliveries.

Plus, this Tesco shopper has shared a supermarket aisle guide so people can buy their groceries quicker – and not miss anything.


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